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March 2, 2010

Notable First Circuit ruling on CVRA appeals and orders of restituion

A First Circuit panel has today handed down a notable ruling concerning crime victim rights and appellate procedures under the CVRA in US v. Aguirre-González, No. 08-1276 (1st Cir. Mar. 2, 2010) (available here). Here is the panel's own summary of its work:

We asked the parties to brief a series of questions pertaining to the right of crime victims to seek appellate review of restitution orders imposed as part of a defendant's criminal sentence. After careful consideration, we hold as follows.  First, a petition for a writ of mandamus under the CVRA is the exclusive mechanism for appellate review of sentencing orders affecting crime victims' rights. Next, the 72-hour time limit for mandamus review imposed by the CVRA is precatory, not mandatory, such that appellate courts retain authority, in appropriate circumstances, to consider petitions after the expiration of that deadline.  Nonetheless, in this case, we do not exercise our discretion to convert appellant's direct appeal into a mandamus petition, as consideration of the petition on the merits at this late date would be fruitless in light of the CVRA's express concern for finality in criminal sentencing orders.  Accordingly, we have no need to address what standard of review applies to timely mandamus petitions under the CVRA.

March 2, 2010 at 06:28 PM | Permalink


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