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June 26, 2012

Anyone eager to discuss Dorsey or Southern Union or Arizona v US or...

any of the other still on-going SCOTUS developments or other sentencing stories beyond the Supreme Court's Eighth Amendment work in Miller v. Alabama?  I ask in part because there is much of recent SCOTUS sentencing law and policy activity worthy of continued discussion beyond the Miller ruling, and yet I have (too) many ideas swirling around my head for future posts/commentaries on various aspects of the Miller case and its likely aftermath.

I have already posted six significant entries in the last 36 hours concerning the Miller ruling, and I have at least three more blog commentaries in the works on the dissenting opinions and on how states with lots of mandatory LWOP juve sentences might most efficiently respond to the holding.  (In addition, I could and perhaps should try to provide in additional posts some round up of the more interesting MSM coverage and blogosphere commentary on the Miller decision.)  But if readers report in the comments that they are already getting Miller fatigue (and/or would rather see posts on other topics), I will be inclined to move toward a last call on Miller time.

June 26, 2012 at 11:26 PM | Permalink


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i thought footnote 8 in southern union was very amusing. the chamber of commerce as champion of of accused persons.

Posted by: big bad wolf | Jun 27, 2012 12:16:32 AM

Doug, keep the posts coming. They are immediately relevant to practitioners and if there are folks on the list who are tired of them, they can just skip reading them. I have three pipeline habitual felon cases going right now and the Hill and Dorsey discussion is verky helpful.

Yesterday, a judge's secretary called me about scheduling a hearing in a postconviction case in which one of the issues involves habitual felon enhancement in a case for which the underlying "crime" was not showing up for court. One of my arguments is that since there have only been five such prosecutions in the state in the past five years, despite multitudes of people who have failed to appear on their court date, the punishment is "unusual" in the Roberts sense of the term.

Sadly, some of the commenters on your blog, like Supremacy Claus, federalist, anon,etc. who don't have the integrity to use their real names, have driven serious practitioners, like Peter and George, and intelligent folks, like Kent, away from commenting. Southern Union and Hill Dorsey are huge and their impact won't be known for years. Within 24 hours of Southern Union being decided, I submitted the case to the Court of Appeals as additional authority for a case in which the Apprendi fact which converted the core crime to an aggravated crime had not been alleged in the charging document. There is specific language in Southern Union addressing the fact that an accusation from which an essential fact is ommitted is not a proper accusation as a matter of common law or reason.

The reason I haven't commented much is because the cases have my head spinning and I haven't had time to process them. But I know they are huge.

Keep the thoughts coming. The folks who are not interested in substantive, current, enormously significant discourse can just make their tiresome rent seeking comments on other issues.

thanks for the help for us guys in the trenches.


Posted by: bruce cunningham | Jun 27, 2012 6:17:19 AM

I'm with bruce, except I don't mind the trolls as much.

As always, thanks for hosting the forum, and thanks for submitting your own ideas here. The site truly is helpful to me and my clients.

As for the usual suspects, I don't mind the anonymity. I'd appreciate some personal information, though: education, occupation, region of the country, experiences with the legal system, political views, etc. This information would help me understand where you're coming from.

Posted by: Mark Pickrell | Jun 27, 2012 7:59:23 AM

Please keep the Miller posts coming. I find them extremely helpful, and I'm posting links to them on the FB page for the Juvenile Justice Blog, which also goes to a Twitter feed (yes, I know, very 21st century). I'm also putting together a roundup of Miller coverage/commentary, and of course I'll direct folks here. Thanks, Doug.

Posted by: Tamar Birckhead | Jun 27, 2012 6:24:44 PM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB