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December 14, 2007

Ninth Circuit ruling provides (non)sober ending to quite a week

Since I plan to celebrate Repeal Day some more this weekend after quite a sentencing week, it is fitting that I'll do a last pre-weekend post noting the Ninth Circuit's ruling today in US v. Betts , No. 06-50205(9th Cir. Dec. 14, 2007) (available here).  Though there are lots of notable part to Betts (as AL&P and Sean note), I just like to highlight that the Ninth Circuit struck down a supervised release condition which required the defendant to "abstain from using . . . alcohol."  Here's a key passage from the court:

This is not to say that there is anything wrong generally with supervised release conditions requiring abstention from alcohol.  Many people commit crimes when they drink too much, and such conditions are often necessary to protect the public and provide correctional treatment. We have upheld abstention conditions where there is some indication in the record of a problem of abuse. Frequently the need for abstention is obvious from the defendant’s criminal history, and the court does not need any admissions from the defendant, because of such past offenses as drunk driving. But the decision has to be individualized, not a matter of policy applicable without regard to the individual defendant.

I'll drink to that!  (But don't drink and drive, or else you might soon see your picture on a billboard.)

December 14, 2007 at 04:56 PM | Permalink

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» Drinking and the law from Objective - Justice
"Moderate consumption of alcohol does not rise to the dignity of our sacred liberties, such as freedom of speech, but the freedom to drink a beer while sitting in a recliner and watching a football game is nevertheless a liberty people have, and it... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 2, 2008 5:46:28 PM

Comments

My favorite line was:

"Moderate consumption of
alcohol does not rise to the dignity of our sacred liberties,
such as freedom of speech, but the freedom to drink a beer
while sitting in a recliner and watching a football game is
nevertheless a liberty people have, and it is probably exercised
by more people than the liberty to publish a political
opinion."

I'll drink to that!

Posted by: sean sirrine | Dec 14, 2007 6:09:46 PM

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