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September 27, 2005

Little for sentencing fans in today's SCOTUS cert grants

As always, SCOTUSblog is the place to go for details on the eleven new cases that the Supreme Court agreed to hear today (the official Order List is available here).  This post from Amy Howe provides a case-by-case run down of the issues raised in the cases granted cert.; this post from Lyle Denniston provides a thematic summary.

Lyle's post details that the "new cases to be heard include four on criminal law issues."  That group includes one habeas procedure case, two Fourth Amendment cases, and one trial procedure case.  The most interesting of this bunch for sentencing fans may be Samson v. California, 04-9728, which, as Lyle explains, concerns "whether police are barred from carrying out a warrantless search of a person on parole, when there is no suspicion of criminal wrongdoing so parole status is the sole reason for the search."  (Notably, the defendant in the Samson case raised Blakely issues in the California appellate courts, but it does not appear that those issues are to be before the Supreme Court.)

As noted in this post by Tom Goldstein, it is likely that the High Court will grant cert. in some additional cases on October 11.  I suspect, however, that the Court is in no rush to confront the many challenging post-Blakely and post-Booker questions that lower courts are struggling through.  As I noted in this post, I think the validity and scope of the "prior conviction" exception is the most pressing and important issue needing to be resolved, but it seems quite possible that the Court may take up some other Blakely/Booker issues first (such as the consecutive sentencing issue that has Michael Ausbrook's attention at INCourts).

September 27, 2005 at 11:07 AM | Permalink


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