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Supreme Court to hear sentencing guidelines, age discrimination cases

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] granted certiorari Monday in three cases [order list, PDF] to be heard next term, two of which deal with federal sentencing guidelines. In Kimbrough v. US (06-6330) [docket] the court will decide an appeal of a Fourth Circuit case stemming from a district judge refusing to order a higher sentencing range because the defendant was dealing both crack and powder cocaine. The Fourth Circuit vacated Kimbrough's lesser sentence [opinion, PDF] and remanded for resentencing. AP has more on Kimbrough. In Gall v. US (06-7949) [docket], the court will deal with another circuit court order resentencing of a defendant who was sentenced below guidelines. The Eighth Circuit ruled that it was unreasonable for an drug dealer selling MDMA, or ecstasy, to be sentenced below the guideline amount [opinion, PDF] without any special circumstances in the case.

Finally in Sprint/United Management v. Mendelsohn (06-1221) [docket] the court will determine if testimony can be allowed in federal age discrimination cases from workers who suffered job bias but were not parties to the case. The Tenth Circuit ruled that Ellen Mendelsohn was deprived of a full opportunity [opinion, PDF] to present her Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) [29 USC 621-634 text] case to the jury when the trial court excluded evidence from other former Sprint employees. AP has more on Mendelsohn. SCOTUSblog has additional coverage.

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