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2006

Faculty Scholarship

Duke Law

Constitutional law--United States.

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The Commerce Power And Criminal Punishment: Presumption Of Constitutionality Or Presumption Of Innocence?, Margaret H. Lemos Jan 2006

The Commerce Power And Criminal Punishment: Presumption Of Constitutionality Or Presumption Of Innocence?, Margaret H. Lemos

Faculty Scholarship

The Constitution requires that the facts that expose an individual to criminal punishment be proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt. In recent years, the Supreme Court has taken pains to ensure that legislatures cannot evade the requirements of proof beyond a reasonable doubt and jury presentation through artful statutory drafting. Yet current Commerce Clause jurisprudence permits Congress to do just that. Congress can avoid application of the reasonable-doubt and jury-trial rules with respect to certain critical facts-the facts that establish the basis for federal action by linking the prohibited conduct to interstate commerce-by finding those facts itself rather ...