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February 22, 2010

SCOTUS back to work with a dynamic sentencing docket

As detailed in this Washington Post piece, which is headlined "Supreme Court returns; firearms regulation and detainees on agenda," the Supreme Court Justices return today from their winter hibernation. And, in the baker's dozen of cases to be heard by the Court in the next few weeks, these particular cases should be of particular interesting to sentencing fans (links and descriptions thanks to SCOTUSwiki):

Obviously, only the first two of these cases are "pure" sentencing issues, but I suspect lots of sentencing-related concerns could be impacted by expected rulings in the Skilling and McDonald.  Also, there are a number of other criminal justice cases being argued in this SCOTUS sitting on issues ranging from Miranda rights to habeas tolling.  And, perhaps as early as tomorrow, we might get some opinion in some of the big sentencing cases that were argued during the first half of this SCOTUS Term. 

Some recent related posts:

February 22, 2010 at 08:21 AM | Permalink


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The defendants' briefs in O'Brien and Burgess raise some great issues. These include:
A) a "tail wagging the dog" due process violation argument,
B) what does appellate "reasonableness" review entail (i.e. would a 30 year sentence be "reasonable" without the firearm finding),
C) an as-applied 6th Amend violation under reasonableness review, and
D) whether Harris should be overturned.

Very interesting stuff!

It almost makes me think the Court might want to hold that the type of gun is an element of the offense per Castillo (a statutory interpretation case), just to avoid the other tricky sentencing issues that Defendants have raised.

Posted by: DEJ | Feb 22, 2010 5:13:47 PM

My personal God, I thought you had been going to chip together with some decisive insght by the end there, not let it rest with we allow you to decide.

Posted by: pandora silver charms | Jan 27, 2011 8:43:59 PM

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