Monday, November 28, 2011

Circuit Split Watch Update (Cert Grant-Crack Sentencing)

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Dorsey v. United States (11-5683) and Hill v. United States (11-5721). In these consolidated cases, the Court will review whether the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced sentences for crack cocaine crimes, applies when the offense occurred before the FSA's effective date, but the sentence was handed down on or after that date.

A previous Circuit Split Watch column discussed this issue and mentioned Dorsey, and an update to that column referenced Hill (see points 2 and 3 re: the United States' brief in the case).

It seems certain that the Supreme Court will appoint an amicus to defend the decision below. As discussed in the column and the update, the federal government, the winner below, now disagrees with the lower court decisions.