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February 21, 2011

Big(?) criminal justice week ahead as SCOTUS gets back to work

The Supreme Court is back to work in earnest starting tomorrow morning, with these three criminal procedure case on tap for oral arguments Tuesday and Wednesday:

  • US v. Tinklenberg, which concerns application of the the Speedy Trial Act (SCOTUSblog coverage here)
  • Bond v. US, which concerns standing to challenge the constitutionality of a federal criminal statute on Tenth Amendment grounds (SCOTUSblog coverage here)
  • Freeman v. US, which concerns eligibility for a sentence reduction under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) when as sentence was imposed pursuant to a Rule 11(c)(1)(C) plea agreement (SCOTUSblog coverage here)

Based on the number of amicus briefs filed and the nature of the issue, I expect Bond will get the most media attention in the days ahead.  But hard-core sentencing fans are likely to be most interested in the Freeman case.  I wrote up a little preview of this case for the ABA, which can be accessed at this link.

In addition, according to the in-the-know folks at SCOTUSblog, the Court "expects to issue orders on Tuesday and opinions on both Tuesday and Wednesday."  A good number of the not-yet-decided SCOTUS cases that were argued in the Fall involve criminal justice issues, so I expect criminal law fans will have some new SCOTUS jurispudence to consider before the week is out.

UPDATE:  On Tuesday, Feb 22, SCOTUS did mostly civil stuff with orders and opinions (basics here from How Appealing).  Perhaps Wednesday will be the day for criminal justice opinions.

February 21, 2011 at 06:14 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Freeman case: I think its simple, the government entered the plea agreement stating specifically that his sentence would float off the PSR guidelines, it would not be a fixed sentence...
Gmen you can't have it both ways...

Therefore he should be awarded the 9 month drop, if the government even hints that 9 months isn't much or worth it, I would agree and add another 9 months, so it would be worthwhile.....

The AUSA and JUDGE arenot very astute in my opinion....This never should went to the Circuit court, the District court should have been able to arrive at this..

Here is where the Givernment lost it:

Freeman executed a written plea agreement
“[p]ursuant to Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(c)(1)(C),” in which he agreed to
plead guilty to all four counts. In exchange for Freeman’s guilty plea,
the government agreed “that a sentence of 106 months’ incarceration
[was] the appropriate disposition of this case.” The plea agreement
noted the likely calculation of various factors under the federal
sentencing guidelines; it also indicated that Freeman understood that
the district court would “independently calculate the Guidelines at
sentencing,” and that he “agree[d] to have his sentence determined
pursuant to the Sentencing Guidelines.” The district court accepted
petitioner’s guilty plea,

Thats it, his sentence floats off the guidelines, its over....

Posted by: Josh | Feb 22, 2011 10:33:21 AM

All cases involve technicalities to loose the criminal on the public. This is an insider game, threatening the public safety. They are about made up rights, and not even about real due process designed to be accurate in freeing the innocent and protecting the public from dangerous criminals. If this is the state of sentencing appellate jurisprudence, it is a waste of taxpayer money. The Justices certing these cases are stealing and wasting tax money. Meanwhile 20 million crimes are going unanswered. And about 20% of convicted people are likely innocent. The incompetence of the lawyer is on display, and expensive.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Feb 23, 2011 6:38:32 AM

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