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    • Brief

    League of Women Voters v. Boockvar

    Brief for National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioners.


    Argument: The dramatic impact that Marsy’s Law would have on Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system is not mere speculation. Other states have adopted nearly identically vague and broad constitutional amendments, which have resulted in substantial harm not only to criminal defendants, but also to the administration of the criminal justice system. This amicus brief summarizes the substantial burdens that Marsy’s Law has imposed in other states where it has gone into effect. The right “to reasonable and timely notice of and to be present at all public proceedings involving the criminal or delinquent conduct” has cost counties and states millions of dollars and congested court dockets. Marsy’s Law states have struggled to deal with the financial impact of the notice provision. The docket congestion caused by the notice provision has caused intolerable delays in proceedings. The right “to reasonable protection from the accused or any person acting on behalf of the accused” has led to absurd results in pretrial release decisions. The right to “full and timely restitution” will take money from the courts. The codification of “respect for the victim’s…privacy” and the right “to reasonable protection from the accused” has made it more difficult for law enforcement to solve crimes and left the public lacking critical information about criminal activity.

    • Brief

    Sample v. United States

    Motion for Leave to file amicus brief filed by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as Amicus Curiae in Support of Petitioner (on petition for a writ of certiorari)


    Argument: This case presents an important issue impacting defendants of all incomes convicted of a variety of crimes. The Tenth Circuit held that a sentencing court could not consider the degree to which a defendant’s “earning capacity” would allow him to pay restitution to the victims of his financial fraud when fashioning a sentence. This holding warrants review because it deepens a conflict of authority over whether district courts may sentence a defendant to probation or to a reduced prison term to enable that defendant to earn income to pay restitution and because the Tenth Circuit was wrong on the merits. This case presents an important questions regarding the broad discretion of sentencing judges. While Congress intended restitution be satisfied in every case to the fullest extent possible, the Tenth Circuit’s decision puts this goal at risk by refusing to allow sentencing courts to even consider a defendant’s capacity to pay restitution when imposing a sentence. Because of restitution’s importance within the federal criminal scheme, this Court should grant review to determine whether the capacity to make restitution payments is an appropriate sentencing consideration. This Court’s review also is necessary because the Tenth Circuit’s decision is in significant tension with the historical tradition of broad discretion in the information a court may consider when imposing a sentence.