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May 2, 2006

Notable Seventh Circuit ruling on procedural rights in revocation proceedings

The Seventh Circuit today in US v. Kelley, No. 05-1884 (7th Cir. May 2, 2006) (available here), issued an interesting ruling concerning a defendant's procedural rights when a district court revokes a term of supervised release and sentences to a term of imprisonment. Here are the highlights from the opinion's introduction:

Kelley argues the district court could not have found him guilty of [certain] vioations without the hearsay-laden testimony and police report of the investigating officer.  He argues that the court's consideration of that hearsay — over his timely objection — violated his Sixth Amendment right of confrontation as recently construed in Crawford v. Washington, 541 U.S. 36 (2004), and his more limited due process right of confrontation as applicable to revocation proceedings under Morrissey v. Brewer, 408 U.S. 471 (1972)....

Supervised release revocation hearings are not criminal prosecutions, so the Sixth Amendment right of confrontation and Crawford do not apply.  Kelley's due process rights were not violated because the hearsay evidence at issue was substantially reliable and its admission did not undermine the fundamental fairness of the revocation hearing.

May 2, 2006 at 04:02 PM | Permalink

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See also United States v. Carlton, No. 05-0974-CR, 2006 WL 758744 (2nd Cir. Mar. 24, 2006); United States v. Williams, No. 05-0458-CR, 2006 WL 751371 (2nd Cir. Mar. 22, 2006); United States v. Comito, 177 F.3d 1166 (9th Cir. 1999); Fed. R. Crim. P. 31.1. If you want to read about even stricter restrictions on constitutional rights at a revocation hearing read United States v. Eskridge, No. 05-2808, 2006 WL 1008835 (7th Cir. Apr. 19, 2006).

Posted by: doug | May 2, 2006 5:47:34 PM

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