Supreme Court Term Begins With Sentencing Guideline Cases
Bump and Update: Just received an e-mail from TChris, TalkLeft's sole contributing blogger to date, who is arguing one of the two sentencing guideline cases in the Supreme Court tomorrow. His portion of the argument is 30 minutes. He says he's ready. Good luck, TChris!
"The sentencing procedure used in this case violated [Booker's] constitutional rights because the judge inflicted punishment that the jury's verdict alone does not allow," says T. Christopher Kelly, a Madison, Wis., lawyer in his brief on behalf of Booker.
Background on his case is here. It was just three months ago that his case (Booker v. U.S.) was the first in the country in which a federal appeals court ruled the sentencing guidlines unconstitutional after the Supreme Court decision in Blakely. And now he goes before the 9 Supreme Court Justices on the first day of the new term. Very, very exciting.
Check out what Peter Goldberger, criminal appellate whiz (Ardmore, PA) and frequent commenter on TalkLeft had to say about TChris and his case in the comments here:
Let me be the first to say, "TChris rocks!" The brief is elegantly written, thoughtfully argued, and highly persuasive. Mr. Booker should be thanking his lucky stars that a lawyer as brilliant and dedicated as Chris happened to be appointed as his counsel. (Congrats also to Dean Strang, the federal court public defender for western Wisconsin, who serves as Chris's volunteer co-counsel.) TL readers should know that for what amounts to more than a month of full time work, the Supreme Court will pay Chris a few thousand dollars -- maybe the equivalent of $12/hr -- plus his expenses in traveling to DC for the oral argument on October 4. Taking a historic case like this is a public service, not a way to make a living. TChris, best of luck at argument. Maybe I'll see you in Washington.
Original Post 10/2/04, 11:00 a.m.
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