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November 28, 2011

SCOTUS to review FSA pipeline issue via Dorsey and Hill grants

As indicated on this Supreme Court order list released this morning, the Justice have taken up a pair of cases, Hill v. United States11-5721, and Dorsey v. United States11-5683, to address the circuit split over whether the new Fair Sentencing Act new mandatory minimums for crack offenses apply to defendants who committed crimes but were not yet sentenced when the FSA became law.  Kudos to the Court and huzzah!

Regular readers know that I have be following this intricate "crack-cases-in-the-pipeline" sentencing issue closely for nearly two years (starting way back in March 2010 when the Senate passed its version of the FSA).  I have lots of thoughts on this matter, and I am already thinking about authoring an amicus brief in Hill and Dorsey to address some statutory construction canons that, in my view, have not been fully briefed in the lower courts.

Though I will have more on these cases in the weeks and months ahead, I sure hope for the sake of lots of defendants that lawyers have been effectively preserving this issue in cases that have been in the pipeline all this while.  This issue is now on track to be conclusively resolved by June, and perhaps even sooner (though not a moment too soon).

November 28, 2011 at 10:19 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I have a pending case in the CDIL (7th Cir) awaiting sentencing with a very dramatic impact depending on application of the FSA. I would be greatly interested in joining your amicus brief. I have written an extensive Sentencing Memorandum to the court on the topic that I'm happy to share.

Posted by: Mark Palmer | Nov 28, 2011 10:39:42 AM

Doug, if you're looking for people to help pull the oars, I'd like to help as well.

Alex

Posted by: Alex E. | Dec 8, 2011 2:12:48 PM

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