August 10, 2004
Last One Standing
Post from Ron:
As Doug noted in an earlier post, Judge Cassell is hearing arguments in United States v. Weldon Angelos about the interaction between mandatory minimum sentences and the Blakely decision. Given that federal sentencing law comes from many sources -- not just the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 -- it is worth asking exactly what laws we mean when we discuss "severability."
To add to the amicus brief in the Angelos case posted earlier, I've now received the brief filed by defense attorney Jerome Mooney. A link for downloading appears below. The brief frames the issue this way:
The single question then presented by the Court’s resent request is whether in the 20 years of legislative action following the implementation of the guideline system and its integrated sentencing system, minimum mandatory sentencing provisions, and particularly those encompassed in 18 U.S.C. 924( c) have become an integrated and dependant part of that system such that they rise or fall with the constitutionality of the system as a whole.
The traditional argument at the heart of the brief is that the Congress in 1984 intended to create an integrated system for sentencing. The brief also breaks some new ground in pointing out that some mandatory minimum statutes (especially 924(c)) have been amended often over the years in ways that suggest Congress thought of the laws as part of an integrated sentencing system, rather than crime-specific "overrides" of the guidelines system.
Setting aside the constitutional and statutory interpretation questions, it would be truly abhorrent as a policy matter if the only component of federal sentencing left standing were the mandatory minimum penalties.
August 10, 2004 at 09:34 AM | Permalink
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The traditional argument at the heart of the brief is that the Congress in 1984 intended to create an integrated system for sentencing.
Posted by: Robe de Soirée 2013 | Dec 14, 2012 1:51:14 AM