In U.S. v. Irey, No. 08-10997 (March 30, 2009), the Court rejected a government appeal of a 240-month sentence imposed on a defendant convicted of using minors to engage in sexually explicit conduct outside the United States for the purpose of producing visual depictions of such conduct and transporting the images to the United States.
The sentencing judge described the conduct as "horrific." The Guideline sentence was 360 months. The statutory maximum was also 360 months; the minimum was 180 months. The district court correctly computed the guideline sentence, and directly discussed the § 3553(a) factors on the record.
Affirming the sentence, the court noted that a 17-1/2 year sentence was not "a trifle." Further, the defendant was 50; thus the consequences of the sentence were "severe." A life term of "rigorous" supervised release was imposed. The sentence was "years beyond" the statutory minimum. The Court stated: "If we were responsible for sentencing Defendant in the first instance, we might have imposed a different sentence: we clearly believe that sentences other than the one actually imposed might also be appropriate. But we must respect the district court as the sentencer, and we accept that the sentence imposed by the district court is within the outside borders of reasonable sentences for this case. . . . The sentence must be affirmed."