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September 26, 2007

USSC review of SCOTUS sentencing decisions

A research assistant discovered that the US Sentencing Commission has available on this training page of its website this updated 2007 version of "Supreme Court Cases on Sentencing Issues."  As the USSC website explains, this document "summarizes Supreme Court decisions in cases involving the Commission, the federal sentencing guidelines, and other related issues."

In addition to providing a helpful compilation of major modern sentencing rulings, this document highlights where the Supreme Court has (and has not) invested its energies.  Particularly telling, in my view, is that the Justices have paid so little attention paid to the Fifth Amendment and particularly the Due Process Clause in their sentencing work.  Due process concerns do make some cameo appearances in cases like Burns and Watts and the Apprendi-Blakely line.  But it is still remarkable (and disappointing) that there has not been a single major due process ruling concerning sentencing procedures over two decades of federal guideline sentencing.

September 26, 2007 at 11:21 AM | Permalink


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