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March 21, 2005

A missing Shepard issue?

The Eighth Circuit today in an unpublished decision US v. Muro-Mendoza, No. 04-3098 (8th Cir. Mar. 21, 2005) (available here) affirmed a sentence in an illegal reentry case by relying heavily on the Almendarez-Torres "prior conviction" exception.  The case caught my eye in part because the defendant in Muro-Mendoza seems to dispute the nature of his prior convictions and also because the Eighth Circuit does not cite or mention the Shepard decision, the Supreme Court's latest work in this arena.

Because I remain unsure what Shepard even means for the Almendarez-Torres "prior conviction" exception, I cannot quickly figure out if there was even a viable Shepard claim in Muro-Mendoza.  But I think the fact that Shepard is not even mentioned by the Eighth Circuit in Muro-Mendoza is telling.

March 21, 2005 at 05:45 PM | Permalink


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Any news regarding 8th's progress in en banc Pirani decision?

Posted by: Cyndi | Mar 21, 2005 8:30:03 PM

I know it was argued two weeks ago, but no decision yet.

Posted by: Doug B. | Mar 22, 2005 1:01:35 AM

I believe that the Shepard law and the other laws that were passed should be retroactive, because without the people who are already in prison for unfair sentencing there would have been nothing to fight against. I believe that, because if it is not retroactive than it should not have been put into play. What about those whose sentencing was the reason for the law.

Posted by: Jameca Howard | Mar 30, 2005 9:26:18 PM

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