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June 2, 2007

Can the Claiborne case survive Mario Claiborne's demise?

As detailed in this post from Lyle Denniston at SCOTUSblog, an effort is underway to help the Supreme Court resolve the issues raised by the Claiborne case even though Mario Claiborne died last week (details here).  Here are the basics from Lyle's post:

A public defender in St. Louis has urged the Supreme Court to find a way to decide in the current Term a significant issue about federal criminal sentencing law that was at stake in a case involving an individual who died last week.  The case is Claiborne v. U.S. (docket 06-5618)...

Michael Dwyer, assistant federal public defender in the Eastern District of Missouri, on Friday filed a motion asking the Court either to go ahead and decide the Claiborne case as presented, or to grant expedited review of another case from Dwyer's office involving the same Guidelines question. The alternative case suggested is Beal v. U.S. (docket 06-8498) -- like Claiborne, from the Eighth Circuit Court. The Supreme Court considered the Beal case at a Conference in February, but took no action on it, apparently intending to hold it until after it had decided Claiborne....

Dwyer contended in his motion that "the close similarity of the facts and decisions of the districts courts and appellate panels in Claiborne and Beal makes the latter case an efficient and effective vehicle to resolve the urgent issues presented in Claiborne.  Because of his representation of Claiborne, the Federal Public Defender for the Eastern District of Missouri could expeditiously prepare Beal for briefing and argument."

June 2, 2007 at 10:42 PM | Permalink


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