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November 29, 2004

Of note around the blogsphere

More than a few items of potential sentencing interest has the blogsphere buzzing after the long holiday weekend.  Here's a very quick round-up:

  • SCOTUS Blog reports here on today's Supreme Court's cert. grant in Dodd v. United States to clarify an issue concerning retroactivity in habeas corpus actions.  I cannot help but speculate that some members of the Court think this issue is extra important after Blakely (and with Booker and Fanfan coming soon?).

  • TalkLeft has a disconcerting post here about Texas' planned execution this week of Frances Newton, who could become the first African-American woman to be executed in modern Texas history.

  • CrimProf Blog has the highlights here of today's two Supreme Court arguments on criminal law topics.  Of course, Ashcroft v. Raich, the medical marijuana case, is getting lots of media buzz and blogsphere buzz (here and here and here) because of its important federalism features.  But I like to think of it as a sentencing case, too, since the severity of federal penalties for marijuana raises the stakes of any federal criminal prosecution.

November 29, 2004 at 12:06 PM | Permalink


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Prof. Berman,

I'm puzzled that so many people who oppose the Guidelines and mandatory minimums also oppose limiting Congress' commerce power. It seems to me that if Congress is so inept at properly and rationally sentencing people, then Congress likely has an similar ineptitude at properly defining criminal conduct.

Why are the liberals so afraid of federalism?

Posted by: Mike | Nov 30, 2004 3:41:54 PM

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