Monday, January 31, 2005

Amicus curiae letter brief filed in U.S. v. Ameline

I wrote a letter brief ( as amicus curiae in U.S. v. Ameline, the Ninth Circuit case that applied Blakely to the guidelines and Blakelyized the guidelines (the only Circuit to do the latter!). I was limited to 2 1/2 pages, so the arguments are sparse indeed, but they are: (1) plain error standard is met in virtually every case in the Ninth Circuit (relying heavily on U.S. v. Hughes); (2) guidance should be given district courts regarding resentencing that: (a) the parsimony principle requires district courts to give considersation to all the factors in 3553(a), some of which are largely or totally irrelevant under a mandatory guidelines system (relying on U.S. v. Ranum); (b) district courts must use the beyond-a-reasonable-doubt standard of proof for any fact essential to an increase in punishment; and (c) the Due Process Clause prohibits, in two different ways, the district court from imposing a sentence any greater than that authorized by the facts as found by the jury or formally admitted by the defendant -- first, the ex post facto component of due process, and second, the presumption against vindictive sentences.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent letter brief. From your mouth to God's ear.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005 1:47:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrific letter -- thank you!

-- Anonymous 3d Cir CJA panelist

Monday, February 07, 2005 7:21:00 PM  

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