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May 26, 2010

Interesting discussion of the rule of lenity's application to advisory guidelines

A helpful reader alerted me to a very interesting concurring opinion authored by Judge Pryor (joined by Judge Fay) in the Eleventh Circuit's decision in US v. Wright, No. 09-12685 (11th Cir. May 26, 2010) (available here).  The decision talks through the interplay of the rule of lenity and guideline application.  Here is how Judge Pyror's opinion gets started:

I concur fully in the majority opinion.  I agree that we have no occasion to apply the rule of lenity in this appeal because section 4A1.2(k)(1) of the Sentencing Guidelines is unambiguous, but I write separately to explain why I doubt the rule of lenity should play any role in our interpretation of advisory Sentencing Guidelines.

May 26, 2010 at 04:57 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Lenity is naked, brazen, explicit lawyer bias against victims, in favor of the client, the one generating the jobs of all lawyers in the room. Conflict of interest is a middle class synonym for theft.

It is reprehensible morally, since it favors evil.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | May 26, 2010 9:05:26 PM

The Fifth Circuit applied the rule of lenity to a sentencing guideline. In the Jeff Skilling appeal.

Posted by: Texas Lawyer | May 26, 2010 10:21:25 PM

I am not sure the opinion accounted for this idea related to the rule of lenity. “This policy embodies ‘the instinctive distaste against men languishing in prison unless the lawmaker has clearly said they should.’ H. Friendly, Mr. Justice Frankfurter and the Reading of Statutes, in Benchmarks 196, 209 (1967).” United States v Bass, 404 U.S. 336, 348-349, 92 S. Ct. 515, 30 L. Ed. 2d 488 348-349 (1971).

Posted by: Tim Holloway | May 27, 2010 6:49:52 AM

Oh hell!!! You are just too cool man. I never knew that there could be something better to know about than from this piece of article. I shall have this forwarded to all my friends and even my dad, I am sure they too shall enjoy reading this piece.

Posted by: Kamagra | Dec 21, 2010 1:42:42 AM

I concur fully in the majority opinion. I agree that we have no occasion to apply the rule of lenity in this appeal because section 4A1.2(k)(1) of the Sentencing Guidelines is unambiguous

Posted by: mbt | Feb 13, 2011 6:06:47 AM

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