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August 24, 2007

Another sentencing day in the circuits

I spent this morning enjoying a sunny, hot day on the links (though I thought about work issues a lot).  But, there is no long weekend for the federal circuit courts, as evidence by two notable sentencing ruling from the Sixth Circuit that a helpful reader spotted.  Here is the reader's description of the day's holdings (which can be accessed from this opinion page):

1. United States v. Kennedy: D invoked Fifth Amendment against polygraph and plethysmograph examination, on advice of counsel. When District Court overruled the objection, D appealed. District Court then revoked bond just after proof briefs were filed. D dropped appeal, but District Court used "non-cooperation" as justifying top-end sentence and lifetime supervision. A very, very conservative panel affirms.

2. United States v. Sims (Unpublished): Jury found more than 5 but less than 50 grams of crack; by proof beyond a reasonable doubt. District Court finds 500+ grams of crack for sentencing purposes by a preponderance. Sixth Circuit affirms.

August 24, 2007 at 02:29 PM | Permalink


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You will explain what a plethysmograph is, won't you?

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 24, 2007 3:30:07 PM

Or -

you could show some initiative and look it up online.

You're sitting in front of a keyboard, connected to the Inet and have been confronted with a word you don't know.
What to do.
What to do.

Posted by: BabbaLu | Aug 24, 2007 5:14:17 PM

My guess is that S.cotus knows what it is, but wants a detailed explanation to be in the post.

Posted by: federalist | Aug 24, 2007 5:23:33 PM

The Kennedy link is broken. Here is one that should work.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Aug 24, 2007 6:49:12 PM

Both of the machines at issue in Kennedy are junk science. Polygraphs are not admissible in evidence as a result. The other machine is described here.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Aug 24, 2007 6:54:46 PM

Also worth noting that the 6th Circuit relied primarily upon a dissenting opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court for its ruling.

Posted by: ohwilleke | Aug 24, 2007 6:59:54 PM

Of course it is junk science. But isn’t the Sixth Circuit the circuit that doesn’t follow the constitution or common sense, but rather makes decisions on the basis of personal feelings? I thought I read somewhere that they had the highest reversal rate. This is why most people agree that the Sixth Circuit should be split.

Anyway, a lot of non-scientific people like junk science, so this form of judicial activism will resonate with them.

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 26, 2007 11:03:05 AM

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