The question presented was:
Whether the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals appellate review for
"unreasonableness" has preserved de facto mandatory Guidelines, contrary to the
Court's ruling in United States v. Booker, 125 S. Ct. 738 (2005), by discouraging district courts from sentencing outside of the recommended guidelines ranges?
Certiorari was granted limited to the following questions:
Was the district court's choice of within-guidelines sentence reasonable?
In making that determination, is it consistent with United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), to accord a presumption of reasonableness to within-guidelines sentences?
If so, can that presumption justify a sentence imposed without an explicit analysis by the district court of the 18 U.S.C. section 3553(a) factors and any other factors that might justify a lesser sentence?