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U.S. Supreme Court

Dorszynski v. United States, 418 U.S. 424 (1974)

Dorszynski v. United States

No. 73-5284

Argued March 20, 1974

Decided June 26, 1974

418 U.S. 424


In sentencing a youth offender as an adult under other applicable penal statutes, § 5010(d) of the Federal Youth Corrections Act requires a federal district court to "find" that the offender would not benefit from treatment under the Act, but does not require that such "finding" be accompanied by supporting reasons. Pp. 418 U. S. 431-444.

(a) Section 5010(d)'s requirement of a "no benefit" finding is not to be read as a substantive standard that must be satisfied to support a sentence outside the Act, for such a reading would not comport with the intent of the Act, as manifested by its legislative history, to increase federal trial judges' sentencing options, or with the traditional doctrine that the sentencing function is exclusively vested in the trial court and is not reviewable if within the terms of the statute. It therefore follows that requiring a statement of supporting reasons to accompany a "no benefit" finding would limit the trial court's sentencing discretion, since it would only serve to facilitate appellate review of sentencing, contrary to the intent of the Act. Pp. 418 U. S. 436-442.

(b) Section 5010(d)'s "no benefit" finding requirement was designed to insure that the sentencing judge deliberately exercised discretion in choosing not to commit a youth offender to treatment under the Act, such a finding making it clear that the judge was not only aware of the Act's existence, but also of the youth offender's eligibility for treatment thereunder. Once it is made clear that the judge has considered the option of the Act's treatment and rejected it, no appellate review is warranted. Pp. 418 U. S. 442-443.

484 F.2d 849, reversed and remanded.

BURGER, C.J.,delivered the opinion of the Court, in which WHITE, BLACKMUN, POWELL, and REHNQUIST, JJ., joined. MARSHALL, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment,. in which DOUGLAS, BRENNAN, and STEWART, JJ., joined, post, p. 418 U. S. 445. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 418 U. S. 425

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