This is going to be brief b/c it's been quite a week here, but interesting things have been brewing.
* 924(c)---United States v. O-Brien, No. 08--1569.
Sec. 924(c)(1) provides for escalating mandatory minimum sentences depending on the manner in which the basic offense is carried out. Is the sentence enhancement (for a 30-year minimum), applicable when the firearm is a machine-gun, an element of the offense that must be charged and proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, or is it a sentencing factor that may be found by a judge by the preponderance of the evidence?
* SORNA---Carr v. United States, No. 08--1301.
1) May a person be prosecuted under § 2250(a) for failure to register when the defendant's underlying offense and the travel in interstate commerce both predated SORNA's enactment?
2) Does the Ex Post Facto Clause preclude prosecution under § 2250(a) if a person's underlying offense and travel in interstate commerce both predated SORNA's enactment?
Lots to think about! Have a great weekend.
P.S. Preserve, preserve, preserve. If you've got mandatory minimums (and they don't have to be 924(c)s) or SORNA cases, think about preservation of these issues!