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November 20, 2006

What are the odds of a cert grant in Angelos?

After the cert grants in the Booker cases, my SCOTUS sentencing cup already runneth over.  But, I see from SCOTUSblog here that the Angelos case is on their "petitions to watch" for the Justices' Conference on Tuesday.  If SCOTUS takes the Angelos case, it could signal the Court's interest in tweaking its non-capital Eighth Amendment jurisprudence.

Regular readers will recall the story of Weldon Angelos, a first offender who was begrudgingly sentenced to 55 years' imprisonment by Judge Paul Cassell for marijuana sales under federal mandatory minimums.  I'll be quite surprised if there is a grant in this case, but it would be great if the Eighth Amendment gets some more attention.

Some prior Angelos posts:

November 20, 2006 at 08:24 PM | Permalink


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I agree that a cert grant is highly unlikely in this case, I would say less than 1%. There is no relevant circuit split and the Eighth Amendment issues seem well settled in favor of barbarity. Moreover, the only disagreement between the court of appeals and Judge Cassell was whether it was approproate to express disapproval of the harshness of the sentence. That's hardly the stuff of which cert grants are made.

Posted by: Dan | Nov 20, 2006 10:13:25 PM

please note that Welch cert was denied after enhancements for charges not charged or proven more than doubled the sentence. After several conferences, Welch Due Process stayed unconstitutional. I hope the SC will feel a need to correct Angelos sentence. It may not be cert worthy because of no split in the circuits but why should any small time drug dealer be given a death sentence while real violent criminals are serving less time. If the SC does not intercede, then the courts/judges are getting away with committing a crime in violating the 5th, 6th, 8th and 14th amendments and human lives are just numbers and case laws. If a judge is speaking out against a sentence, it must be consciously wrong. Most times, the courts/judges/prosecutors gets away with their crimes to humanity because they know the percentage of it being corrected by the SC is nil to none. Where is the justice in our legal system and who will correct the injustice.

Posted by: Welch | Nov 20, 2006 11:30:03 PM

Judge Cassell, a Bush 43 appaointee, was fairly controversial when he was nominated. Apparently he has a mind of his own and was not the bugaboo that many Senators made him out to be.

Posted by: federalist | Nov 21, 2006 9:50:59 AM

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