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August 16, 2006

Top-side brief in Grier proof standard Third Circuit en banc appeal

Kind readers have sent me the recently filed Appellant's Brief in US v. Grier, the case in which the Third Circuit will be considering appropriate burdens of proof in post-Booker federal sentencing.  The brief can be accessed below, and here is its summary of the major constitutional arguments:

This Court should vacate Grier's sentence and remand for resentencing because the District Court erred in enhancing Grier's sentence based upon its finding, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he committed an aggravated assault, for several reasons.

First, the Due Process Clause requires the District Court to apply the reasonable doubt standard in finding enhancement facts when the sentencing enhancement constitutes a new and separate offense. Second, The Doctrine of Constitutional Avoidance requires use of the reasonable doubt standard to avoid construing the federal sentencing statutes as unconstitutional....

Download GrierBriefEnBanc.pdf

Related posts on Grier and burdens of proof:

August 16, 2006 at 06:37 PM | Permalink

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