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Causation, Lenity, and Statutory Construction

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The US Supreme Court today decided Burrage v. United States, No. 12-7515, a case involving the criminal liability of a drug dealer for a user's death by overdose.  From the syllabus:

Held: At least where use of the drug distributed by the defendant is not an independently sufficient cause of the victim's death or serious bodily injury, a defendant cannot be liable for penalty enhancement under [21 U.S.C.] ยง841(b)(1)(C) unless such use is a but-for cause of the death or injury.
Opinion by Justice Scalia.  No dissent.  Justices Ginsburg and Sotomayor note separately that they will not apply a rule of lenity to civil discrimination cases.

No new cases taken up in the orders list.

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