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February 12, 2007

Reply briefs filed in Claiborne and Rita

With now just a week to go before the SCOTUS oral argument Claiborne and Rita, the final official piece of the briefing puzzle was filed in today as the defendants filed thier reply briefs.  Thanks to this page at the Office of Defender Services, you can access the reply brief for Mario Claiborne here and the reply brief for Victor Rita here.  The Rita reply gets off to this flying start:

The presumption of reasonableness is a legal fiction. It is based not on the objective language of the Sentencing Reform Act ("SRA"), but on a subjective preference for a determinate sentencing regime and mandatory Sentencing Guidelines.  Crafted from whole cloth, the presumption is supported only by vague references to an ambiguous legislative history and repeated allusions to the "expertise" of the United States Sentencing Commission ("USSC").  These considerations cannot justify reaching beyond the text of the statute, particularly when application of the presumption raises serious constitutional concerns in all cases and so plainly results in an unreasonable sentence in this one.

Posts in my "Revving up" series:

February 12, 2007 at 05:24 PM | Permalink


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