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United States v. Deegan

United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
605 F.3d 625 (2010)


Dana Deegan (defendant) gave birth to a baby boy in a residence on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation. She fed and dressed the infant and then left the home with the intent of not immediately returning. Two weeks later Deegan returned to the residence, found her baby dead, and placed the body in a suitcase. Deegan placed the suitcase in a ditch where it was subsequently found. Because the crime occurred on an Indian reservation, Deegan was charged in federal district court. Deegan pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to ten years in prison, the bottom of the advisory sentencing guidelines range. Deegan urged the court to vary from the advisory guidelines and to sentence her to a term of probation or a very short period of imprisonment due to her “psychological and emotional condition” at the time of the offense, her history of abuse, and the fact that she had acted impulsively. The district court refused to reduce the sentence and Deegan appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Collton, J.)

Dissent (Bright, J.)

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