[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] on Wednesday ruled [opinion, PDF] 6-2 in Pepper v. United States [Cornell LII backgrounder; JURIST report] that judges may consider a defendant’s post-sentencing rehabilitation as a permissible factor supporting a downward sentencing variance under 18 USC 3553(a) [text]. Writing for the majority, Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated that 18 USC 3742(g)(2) [text], which barred judges from departing from federal sentencing guidelines [materials] when resentencing defendants, was nullified by the…