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October 1, 2007

The other sentencing cases taken up by SCOTUS last week

Now posted over at SCOTUSblog is this long account of the other sentencing cases that the Justices decided to take up last week.  Here are some highlights from the post:

Last Tuesday, the Court granted certiorari in two cases that will examine the range of predicate convictions that qualify a person for elevated sentences under the Armed Career Criminal Act of 1984 (the "ACCA").  The ACCA imposes a minimum 15 year sentence, and authorizes a term of life imprisonment, for a person convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm if that person has been previously convicted on three separate occasions for a "violent felony" or "serious drug offense."...

Begay v. United States asks whether a felony conviction for driving while intoxicated counts as a "violent felony" under the ACCA.... The other ACCA case, United States v. Rodriquez, asks whether a court, in determining whether a prior state drug conviction prescribed a sufficiently long maximum sentence to count as a "serious drug offense" under the ACCA, can look only at the maximum sentence named in the particular state drug statute or has to take into account a sentencing enhancement applicable to the case under a state recidivism statute.

October 1, 2007 at 02:48 PM | Permalink


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The ACCA like ERISA and CERCLA is one of those gifts that just keeps on giving to the appellate bar. While I'm not convinced that the FRCP needed to be rewritten from scratch, each of these statutes needs a complete overhaul for clarity purposes alone.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Oct 2, 2007 12:51:07 AM

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