January 5, 2009
Circuits ring in 2009 with some sex and death
The first two 2009 sentencing related opinions I noticed today were, perhaps fittingly, dealing with sex offender sentencing and the administration of capital punishment. I predict that these will be two of the hottest topics in sentencing law and policy for 2009, so it is notable to see the sentencing year get off to this kind of jurisprudential start.
Specifically, the Seventh Circuit has an intricate little child porn sentencing opinion today in US v. Osborne, No. 08-1176 (7th Cir. Jan 5, 2009) (available here), and the Eleventh Circuit has an elaborate lengthy death penalty decision today in Wellons v. Hall, No. 07-13086 (11th Cir. Jan 5, 2009) (available here).
Some recent related posts:
- What might 2009 have in store for . . . sex offender law and policy?
UPDATE: The Fourth Circuit also had a lengthy death penalty decision to ring in the new year in Larry v. Branker, No. 07-7 (4th Cir. Jan 5, 2009) (available here). This opinion includes and long discussion of the application of mental retardation standards in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling in Atkins making those with mental retardation ineligible for the death penalty.
January 5, 2009 at 12:25 PM | Permalink
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I skimmed the 11th Circuit opinion, and so far, this is the most interesting sentence: "[E]ither during or immediately following the penalty phase, some jury members gave the trial judge chocolate shaped as male genitalia and the bailiff chocolate shaped as female breasts." Really? In what universe could that have seemed like a remotely appropriate thing to do??
Posted by: observer | Jan 6, 2009 12:19:01 PM