Thursday, July 12, 2012

Apprendi applies in juvenile proceedings

United States v. CTH, No. 10-1487. Opinion is here. CTH was 16 when he was busted for possession with intent to deliver heroin. Juvenile sentencing ("official detention") is set by the lesser of five years detention or the maximum of the adult guideline range applicable to an otherwise situated adult. The district court found CTH responsible for 647 grams of heroin and gave him five years official detention. Without that finding, CTH could have received as little as 12 months official detention.

CTH argued that Apprendi should apply to the quantity finding because it, in effect, increased his maximum penalty. The government flailed around a bit in opposition. The Sixth Circuit ruled Apprendi applied and the drug quantity needed to be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

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