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December 18, 2009

Thoughts on 2010 SCOTUS sentencing sleeper cases (or dicta)?

Today's topic for conversation as I head off-line for a while is whether 2010 will bring us some big time "sleeper" rulings from the Supreme Court on sentencing issues. 

We can easily predict that the juve LWOP Eighth Amendment cases will be major rulings no matter what the Justices do and say.  But what other cases should sentencing fans be watching extra closely as we turn the calender?  Are there even some non-sentencing cases (like the honest services cases or the Second Amendment incorporation case) that might include some important sentencing-related dicta?

December 18, 2009 at 12:53 PM | Permalink


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What I think will be interesting is how the Courts of Appeals treat Beard v. Kindler.

Posted by: federalist | Dec 18, 2009 1:49:13 PM

Sleeper sentencing cases on this year's S.Ct. docket: Carachuri-Rosendo (standards for proof of "aggravated felonies"), and maybe Dillon (whether a 3582(c) modification is a resentencing implicating Booker). For major impact, Barber (calculation of federal good time).

Posted by: Peter G | Dec 20, 2009 2:57:16 PM

Padilla v. Kentucky, while not a sentencing case in strict sense, could have a big impact on pleas and sentences if it requires defense counsel to provide accurate advice about collateral consequences. I concur with Peter about Carachuri-Rosendo and would add U.S. v. O'Brien, both cases that could further erode prior conviction exception to Apprendi.

Posted by: margy | Dec 20, 2009 11:54:32 PM

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