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Criminal Law

2009

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18 USC Section 3553

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Judicial Nullification Of Juries: Use Of Acquitted Conduct At Sentencing, Eang L. Ngov Jan 2009

Judicial Nullification Of Juries: Use Of Acquitted Conduct At Sentencing, Eang L. Ngov

Faculty Scholarship

At trial, defendants are afforded a panoply of rights right to counsel, to proof beyond a reasonable doubt, to confront witnesses, and to exclude inadmissible evidence. However, these rights, except for the right to counsel, disappear at sentencing. In deciding a defendant’s sentence, a court may consider conduct that has not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt and even conduct of which the jury has acquitted the defendant. Consideration of acquitted conduct has resulted in dramatic increases in the length of defendants’ sentences sometimes resulting in life imprisonment based merely on a judge’s finding that a defendant more likely than …