Peugh v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast

SCOTUScast 6-18-13 featuring Carissa Byrne Hessick

June 18, 2013

Carissa Byrne Hessick

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Peugh v. United States - Post-Decision SCOTUScast - MP3
Running Time: 00:19:33   

Carissa Byrne HessickOn June 19, 2013, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Peugh v. United States.   The question in this case was whether a court violates the Constitution’s prohibition on “Ex Post Facto” laws by using the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines in effect at the time of a defendant’s sentencing rather than those in effect at the time of the underlying offense, when the newer Guidelines provide a higher applicable sentencing range and thereby expose the defendant to a longer recommended sentence.

In an opinion delivered by Justice Sotomayor, the Court held by a vote of 5-4 that the Ex Post Facto clause precludes federal courts from using sentencing guidelines imposed after the defendant committed the underlying crime when the newer guidelines propose a higher applicable sentencing range for that crime.  Justices Ginsburg, Breyer and Kagan joined the majority opinion in full, and Justice Kennedy joined the opinion in all except Part III-C.  Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined in Parts I and II-C by Chief Justice Roberts, Justice Scalia, and Justice Alito.  Justice Alito also filed a dissenting opinion, which was joined by Justice Scalia.

To discuss the case, we have Carissa Byrne Hessick, who is a Professor of Law at S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.

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Related Links

Peugh v. United States - Post-Argument SCOTUScast
Opinion - June 6, 2013 (PDF)
Oral Argument Transcript - February 26, 2013 (PDF)