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Problems With Delayed Sentence - Second Circuit Weighs In:  At Sentencing Law and Policy, Doug Berman posts on the Second Circuit's decision in U.S. v. Ray.  In Ray, a district judge sentenced Sheena Deloache Ray, after a fifteen year delay, to a one-day term of imprisonment and three years of supervised release with a special condition that she serve six months in a halfway house.  Ray challenged her conviction and sentence and Sixth Amendment speedy trial and Fifth Amendment due process grounds.  The three judge panel rejected her speedy trial argument, but found merit in her due process claim.  The panel reasoned Ray might have a constitutional right to "speedy" sentence under the Fifth Amendment because, as the Supreme Court's acknowledged in United States v. Lovasco, "the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment 'has a limited role to play in protecting against oppressive delay.'"  The court could not find sufficient justification for the fifteen year delay in sentencing and found Ray had been prejudiced by the delay.  It vacated the portion of her sentence requiring a six-month residence in a halfway house in order to remedy the prejudice caused by the violation.

Follow-up On Federal Prosecution for Local Vermont Crime:
  Yesterday, Doug Berman and CJLF posted information on the federal government's plan to seek the death penalty against Michael Jacques for raping and murdering of his young niece, Brooke Bennett.  Today, Berman follows up with a second post on Sentencing Law and Policy wondering whether Jacques will challenge his federal prosecution.  According to Daniel Barlow's article in Vermont's Times Argus, Jacques is being federally charged because he used the Internet to both plan for and cover up the crime.  Jacques' Internet is allowing the feds to treat the crime as one that crossed state borders.  This opens it up for federal prosecution.  And while Jacques has a long history of past sexual abuses with other minors, his federal prosecution still seems strange (after all, it still is a state crime).  Barlow reports Jacques' would be the third death penalty case in Vermont since the late 1990s.  The other noteworthy Vermont death penalty (and Second Circuit) case, United States v. Fell, was finally resolved with by a denial of rehearing en banc back in June, during Justice Sotomayor's confirmation hearings.  Fell physically crossed state borders during his crime.

Ninth Circuit Rejects Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) Challenge:  At Sex Crimes, Corey Rayburn Yung informs us that in U.S. v. George, the Ninth Circuit rejected George's claims that (1) his conviction was invalid because the state where he was required to register, Washington, had not implemented SORNA; (2) SORNA was a violation of the Ex Post Facto Clause.  Yung is particularly troubled by the court's discussion of the Commerce Clause.  In its brief discussion of the Clause the Ninth Circuit states SORNA is "reasonably aimed at 'regulating persons or things in interstate commerce and the use of the channels of interstate commerce,'" therefore, Congress had the power under its broad commerce clause authority to enact the SORNA.  Yung pastes the court's brief discussion of the Clause, and then comments that the Ninth Circuit's discussion "relies entirely on the 8th Circuit reasoning with no discussion of the counterarguments."  He believes the Ninth Circuit "did a disservice to the defense in not even addressing the finer distinctions in the Commerce Clause analysis."  Doug Berman also had a quick post on George at Sentencing Law and Policy.   

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