United States v. Ruiz, 536 U.S. 622, 6 (2002)

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Cite as: 536 U. S. 622 (2002)

Opinion of the Court

"defendant may file a notice of appeal . . . for review . . . if the sentence

"(1) was imposed in violation of law; "(2) was imposed as a result of an incorrect application of the sentencing guidelines; or

"(3) is greater than [the Guideline] specified [sentence] . . . ; or

"(4) was imposed for an offense for which there is no sentencing guideline and is plainly unreasonable." 18 U. S. C. 3742(a).

Every Circuit has held that this statute does not authorize a defendant to appeal a sentence where the ground for appeal consists of a claim that the district court abused its discretion in refusing to depart. See, e. g., United States v. Conway, 81 F. 3d 15, 16 (CA1 1996); United States v. Lawal, 17 F. 3d 560, 562 (CA2 1994); United States v. Powell, 269 F. 3d 175, 179 (CA3 2001); United States v. Ivester, 75 F. 3d 182, 183 (CA4 1996); United States v. Cooper, 274 F. 3d 230, 248 (CA5 2001); United States v. Scott, 74 F. 3d 107, 112 (CA6 1996); United States v. Byrd, 263 F. 3d 705, 707 (CA7 2001); United States v. Mora-Higuera, 269 F. 3d 905, 913 (CA8 2001); United States v. Garcia-Garcia, 927 F. 2d 489, 490 (CA9 1991); United States v. Coddington, 118 F. 3d 1439, 1441 (CA10 1997); United States v. Calderon, 127 F. 3d 1314, 1342 (CA11 1997); In re Sealed Case No. 98-3116, 199 F. 3d 488, 491-492 (CADC 1999).

The statute does, however, authorize an appeal from a sentence that "was imposed in violation of law." Two quite different theories might support appellate jurisdiction pursuant to that provision. First, as the Court of Appeals recognized, if the District Court's sentencing decision rested on a mistaken belief that it lacked the legal power to grant a departure, the quoted provision would apply. 241 F. 3d, at 1162, n. 2. Our reading of the record, however, convinces us that the District Judge correctly understood that he had such discretion but decided not to exercise it. We therefore reject

627

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