United States v. Blewett and Blewitt

Brief Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, in support of defendants-appellants.

Brief filed: 06/28/2013


United States v. Blewett and Blewitt

6th Circuit Court of Appeals; Case No. 12-5226/5582


The Eighth Amendment prohibits excessive purposeless punishments now rejected in American laws and practices, as are pre-FSA crack sentences. Society’s standards reflected in modern legislation and practices demonstrate a national consensus against pre-FSA crack sentences. There is no evident legitimate penological justification for preventing only less serious, low quality crack offenders from being eligible for sentencing modification of pre-FSA sentences under 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2). The sentence modification provisions of 18 U.S.C. § 3582(c)(2) and Guideline policy statements provide an effective and appropriate means to address and remedy the Eighth Amendment concerns in this case. For the foregoing reasons, the Eighth Amendment provides support for the Blewett panel ruling, and this Court need not and should not order rehearing en banc of that decision.

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Prof. Douglas A. Berman, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Columbus, OH; Candace C. Crouse, Pinales Stachler Young Burrell & Crouse Co., L.P.A., Cincinnati, OH.