« Even the Chief and Justice Scalia are content to damn gun possession with faint praise | Main | Yet another notable written opinion in a federal child porn downloading case »

February 24, 2009

Eleventh Circuit holds erroneous sentencing does not violate a constitutional right

I have long thought that being sentenced to a longer prison term than is legally appopriate would constitute a violation of a constitutionally protected liberty interest.  But a short opinion from the Eleventh Circuit today in Hunter v. US, No. 07-13701 (11th Cir. Feb 24, 2009) (available here) suggests otherwise.  Here is how Hunter starts:

This appeal presents the issue whether a criminal defendant who was erroneously sentenced has made “a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right.” 28 U.S.C. § 2253(c)(2). Demarick Hunter is a federal prisoner serving a sentence of imprisonment of 188 months for being a felon in possession of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. § 924(g).  He moved to vacate his sentence, 28 U.S.C. § 2255, and the district court denied his motion.  Hunter then sought certificate of appealability from this Court, and we denied the application.  The Supreme Court vacated our order denying the certificate of appealability and remanded for reconsideration in the light of its decision in Begay v. United States, 553 U.S. __, 128 S. Ct. 1581 (2008), which held that driving under the influence was not a violent felony under the Armed Career Criminal Act, 18 U.S.C. § 924(e).  Because Hunter has failed to make “a substantial showing of the denial of a constitutional right,” we deny his motion for a certificate of appealability.

February 24, 2009 at 03:39 PM | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451574769e20112790a938028a4

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Eleventh Circuit holds erroneous sentencing does not violate a constitutional right:

Comments

Post a comment

In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB