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March 18, 2010

Lots of interesting little sentencing rulings from the Sixth Circuit

This morning brings a lot of notable little sentencing rulings from the Sixth Circuit, all of which practitioners should make sure to review if they have a pending matter related to these issues:

  • Application of the safety-valve guideline sentencing adjustment (defendant loss in this case)
  • Habeas relief from long state sentence based on problematic priors (defendant loss in this case)
  • Defense authority to file a second habeas position raising new ex post facto claim (defendant win in this case)
I would be especially grateful to hear in the comments from readers whether they see anything that is actually big in what seem to be three relatively little opinions.

March 18, 2010 at 10:26 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I didn't find the second case, written by Gilman, very persuasive, especially as it tried to distinguish another recent Sixth Circuit case (though that one was unpublished). It seems another remnant of the "I can't believe Blakely actually happened" line of thinking, where he must lose because some Ohio courts had ruled against the claim, even though there was no way to distinguish Ohio's scheme from the one struck down in Washington, as the Ohio Supreme Court eventually recognized. That whole rationale overweights the role of a lower court that makes a wrong decision; it suddenly imperils the entire enterprise of asking your counsel to make legitimate arguments on your behalf, and, at minimum, to preserve such arguments.

Posted by: MJG | Mar 18, 2010 12:39:11 PM

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