Brief of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner.
Argument: Joint and several forfeiture liability violates basic principles of sentencing. Joint and several forfeiture liability imposes a de facto criminal fine in contravention of congressional intent. Congress enacted § 853 to deprive defendants of their proceeds from crime. Joint and several forfeiture liability disregards the limits Congress imposed on fines for drug offenders. The Court should construe § 853 to avoid serious constitutional problems.
Brief for Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Appellant and Reversal
Argument: Honeycutt pronounced a new substantive rule that applies retroactively on collateral review. Honeycutt changed the landscape of criminal forfeiture. Honeycutt’s rule is substantive and therefore applies retroactively on collateral review. A criminal forfeiture order entered without authority of law is a fundamental error warranting extraordinary relief. The government’s seizure of property without lawful authority violates fundamental principles of due process. Forfeiture orders based on joint and several liability violate the Eighth Amendment when the defendant received no proceeds from the crime. Permitting a forfeiture order entered without legal authority to stand serves no legitimate public interest.