Monday, July 12, 2004

2nd Circuit Certifies 3 Blakley-related Questions to the Supreme Court!!!

You just have to read this to believe it. The 2nd Circuit, not content to just issue an opinion like all the other circuits, has one-upped everyone by certifying the following three questions to be heard by the Supreme Court "at its earliest convenience, with an expedited briefing and hearing schedule..."

1. Does the Sixth Amendment permit a federal judge to find facts, not reflected in a
jury’s verdict or admitted by a defendant, that form the basis for determining the applicable adjusted offense level under the federal Sentencing Guidelines and any upward departure from that offense level?

2. In a case where a jury has convicted a defendant of possessing with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine and one kilogram or more of heroin, does the Sixth Amendment permit a federal district judge to determine, under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the quantity of drugs for which the defendant is responsible and upon which his base offense level and corresponding sentencing range will be calculated,
under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1?

3. In a case where a defendant has pled guilty to conspiring to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, does the Sixth Amendment permit a federal district judge to determine, under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, (a) the quantity of drugs for which the defendant is responsible and upon which his base offense level and corresponding
sentencing range will be calculated, under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1, (b) the applicability of a two- level enhancement to the base offense level for carrying a gun in connection with the offense, under U.S.S.G. § 2D1.1(b)(1), and (c) the applicability of a three-level managerial role enhancement under U.S.S.G. § 3B1.1(b)?

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