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March 10, 2005

Criminal history disputes and Shepard issues

I believe the Supreme Court's opaque work in Shepard (basics summarized here, commentary here and here), and the possible demise of the Almendarez-Torres prior conviction exception, could prove so consequential not only because many states have sentence enhancers based on criminal history, but also because the facts surrounding a defendant's criminal are uncertain and subject to dispute more often than we might suppose. 

The letter brief from the NJ Blakely litigation posted here provides some flavor of these issues, but another great example comes from a brief sent to me by North Carolina attorney Bruce Cunningham.  This brief, which I have been authorized to post and is available for downloading below, spotlights in various ways a range of the disputable issues that surround criminal history which may now bw subject to Shepard challenges.

Download hadden_brief_with_shepard_issues.doc

March 10, 2005 at 03:39 PM | Permalink


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