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July 19, 2004

Another SDNY finding of unconstitutionality

I just received a report from Sean Hecker, Staff Attorney of Legal Aid Society's Federal Defender Division concerning another Blakely ruling from the Southern District of New York. Here's the full text of the report:

Today, Judge Rakoff, a federal district judge in the Southern District of New York held that Blakely applied to the USSG and that the guidelines were not severable. Accordingly, he sentenced the defendant without being bound by the guidelines. In the felon-in-possession case before him, he ultimately settled upon a sentence that equated to the low-end of the range that would have applied if the base offense level had applied, without a two-point enhancement for possessing a gun with an obliterated serial number.

Shrewd readers will know that this is not Judge Rakoff's first noteworthy ruling that a federal sentencing statute was unconstitutional. Specifically, in US v. Quinones, Judge Rakoff concluded that the Federal Death Penalty Act violates the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment because DNA testing has demonstrated that "innocent people are convicted of capital crimes with some frequency." See 196 F. Supp. 2d 416, 420 (S.D.N.Y. 2002); see also US v. Quinones, 205 F. Supp. 2d 256 (S.D.N.Y. 2002) (reaffirming ruling). The Second Circuit ultimately reversed that ruling in US v. Quinones, 313 F.3d 49 (2d Cir. 2002), affirmed, 317 F.3d 86 (2d Cir. 2003).


July 19, 2004 at 05:59 PM | Permalink

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In the felon-in-possession case before him, he ultimately settled upon a sentence that equated to the low-end of the range that would have applied if the base offense level had applied, without a two-point enhancement for possessing a gun with an obliterated serial number.

Posted by: Robe de Soirée 2013 | Dec 13, 2012 12:27:05 AM

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