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The Alleyne Decision

Jul 23, 2013 | Sentencing |

Alleyne v. U.S., No. 11-9335 (U.S. Sup. Ct. June 17, 2013) (Justice Thomas)

In Alleyne, the Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, reversed its much maligned decision in Harris v. U.S., 536 U.S. 545 (2002), which held that the Apprendi rule does not bar a sentencing judge from making factual determinations that can increase a defendant’s mandatory minimum sentence, even if not charged in the indictment. In an important ruling that will strictly limit judges’ discretion in imposing mandatory minimum sentences from now on, the majority held that any fact that increases the mandatory minimum sentence for a crime must be determined by a jury, not by a sentencing judge.

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