Immigration Lawyers New York



Sentencing and Penalties

Judicial discretion and mandatory minimums, drug conspiracy penalties and double jeopardy - all of these can be found in this section.

Court Opinions on the Topic:

Garrett v. United States (1985)
Harmelin v. Michigan (1991)
United States v. Granderson (1994)
Dep't of Revenue v. Kurth Ranch (1994)
Bailey v. United States (1995)
Neal v. United States (1996)
Edwards v. United States (1998)
Gall v. United States (2007)
Kimbrough v. United States (2007)


Pages:1› ‹2› ‹3› ‹4› ‹5› ‹6› ‹7› ‹8› ‹9› ‹10› ‹11› ‹12› ‹13

Garrett v. United States (1985)
Opinion by: REHNQUIST
Where the same conduct violates two statutory provisions, the first step in the double jeopardy analysis is to determine whether the legislature -- in this case Congress -- intended that each violation be a separate offense. If Congress intended that there be only one offense -- that is, a defendant could be convicted under either statutory provision for a single act, but not under both -- there would be no statutory authorization for a subsequent prosecution after conviction of one of the two provisions, and that would end the double jeopardy analysis.

[...]

Garrett v. United States (1985)
Opinion by: REHNQUIST
Congress was seeking to add a new enforcement tool to the substantive drug offenses already available to prosecutors. During the debate on the Poff amendment [for the Comprehensive Drug Abuse, Prevention and Control Act of 1970], for example, Representative Fascell stated: "I see no reason to treat a drug trafficker any less harshly than an organized crime racketeer. Their acts are equally heinous, the consequences equally severe, and their punishment equally justified." Representative Weicker stated: "The penalty structure has been designed to accommodate all types of drug offenders, from the casual drug user and experimenter to the organized crime syndicates engaged in unlawful transportation and distribution of illicit drugs."

[...]

[Petitioners] argue that including the weight of the carrier leads to anomalous results, viz: a major wholesaler caught with 19,999 doses of pure LSD would not be subject to the 5-year mandatory minimum sentence, while a minor pusher with 200 doses on blotter paper, or even one dose on a sugar cube, would be subject to the mandatory minimum sentence.

[...]

The current penalties for LSD distribution originated in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, Pub. L. 99-570, 100 Stat. 3207. Congress adopted a "market-oriented" approach to punishing drug trafficking, under which the total quantity of what is distributed, rather than the amount of pure drug involved, is used to determine the length of the sentence. [...] It intended the penalties for drug trafficking to be graduated according to the weight of the drugs in whatever form they were found -- cut or uncut, pure or impure, ready for wholesale or ready for distribution at the retail level. Congress did not want to punish retail traffickers less severely, even though they deal in smaller quantities of the pure drug, because such traffickers keep the street markets going. H. R. Rep. No. 99-845, (supra) , at pt. 1, p. 12.

[...]

Petitioners argue that those selling different numbers of doses, and, therefore, with different degrees of culpability, will be subject to the same minimum sentence because of choosing different carriers. The same objection could be made to a statute that imposed a fixed sentence for distributing any quantity of LSD, in any form, with any carrier. Such a sentencing scheme -- not considering individual degrees of culpability -- would clearly be constitutional. Congress has the power to define criminal punishments without giving the courts any sentencing discretion. Ex parte United States, 242 U.S. 27 (1916).

[...]

Pages:1› ‹2› ‹3› ‹4› ‹5› ‹6› ‹7› ‹8› ‹9› ‹10› ‹11› ‹12› ‹13



 
Get Rich - and Quick! - hilarious and useful advice. Drug War Facts - just what the website name says. Very informative. Drug Info - list of authority sites on various drugs.


© 2007 Yakov Spektor
Privacy Policy