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March 28, 2010

Details on Dillon as SCOTUS oral argument approaches

Because there is so much that could be said about the crack guideline modification retroactivity issue that goes before the Supreme Court on Tuesday in the Dillon case, I am not sure where to start.  The case directly involves or implicitly raises issues of constitutional law, statutory doctrine, administrative powers and policy-based practicalities, with a splash of Booker and a hint of equity thrown in for good measure.  Helpfully, this new local piece, which is headlined "Cocaine sentencing inequity goes to top court: Supreme Court will hear Percy Dillon's plea for a substantial sentence reduction," reviews some of the basics effectively while also discussing the defendant whose fate will be before SCOTUS on Tuesday. 

March 28, 2010 at 11:57 PM | Permalink


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The linked article states, "It is especially interesting that the Supreme Court took this type of case at all, because there is no split among the nine appellate circuit courts on the issue." What about United States v. Hicks, 472 F.3d 1167 (9th Cir. 2007)?

Posted by: Benedict (student) | Mar 30, 2010 1:24:12 PM

It's a good article, but two claims were unsupported.

First, I agree that the sentence identified by Benedict was incorrect. Although the 9th Cir. has agreed to hear the issue en banc, Hicks is still controlling precedent.

Another assertion also gave me pause: "But the court could also rule in favor of Mr. Dillon without making its findings carry across the board for every other defendant." How could the court rule in favor of Dillon and not have that holding impact other 3582(c)(2) defendnats?

Posted by: DEJ | Mar 30, 2010 2:02:47 PM

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