Monday, November 28, 2011

Whoo Hoo! Big News: SCOTUS Grants Cert on FSA Pipeline-Cases Issues

The Supreme Court has granted cert in two FSA "pipeline" cases to resolve the circuit split over whether or not the FSA applies to defendants whose conduct pre-dated the FSA, but who were sentenced after the FSA was enacted

The cases are Hill v. United States, No. 11-5721, and Dorsey v. United States, 11-5683.

Question presented in Dorsey:

"Did the Seventh Circuit err when, in conflict with the First and Eleventh Circuits, it held that the Fair Sentencing Act of 2010 does not apply to all defendants sentenced after its enactment?"

Dovetailing with the FSA theme, the Sixth Circuit issued its decision in United States v. Thigpen, No. 10-3127 (6th Cir. Nov. 21, 2011) (unpublished), last week.  Court again followed Carradine and denied FSA relief to the defendant, who was sentenced on January 28, 2010.  The Court did state that the defendant "was properly sentenced under the law applicable at the time his crimes were committed."  This language is broad, but given the defendant's sentencing date, it is dicta in "'pipeline" cases (defendants sentenced after the FSA was enacted, whose offenses pre-dated the FSA).

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