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    This page contains Supreme Court rulings -- with summaries of the majority and minority conclusions.

99-478 on Mar 28, 2000

Decided Jun 26, 2000
Case Ruling: APPRENDI v. NEW JERSEY
Apprendi fired several shots into the home of an African-American family and made a statement that he did not want the family in his neighborhood because of their race. He was charged with possession of a firearm for an unlawful purpose, which carries a prison term of 5 to 10 years. The count did not refer to the State’s hate crime statute, which provides for an enhanced sentence [for racial intimidation]. After Apprendi pleaded guilty, the prosecutor filed a motion to enhance the sentence. The court found that the shooting was racially motivated and sentenced Apprendi to a 12-year term on the firearms count.

Held:

(Stevens, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, Scalia & Thomas)
The Constitution requires that any fact that increases the penalty for a crime beyond the prescribed statutory maximum, other than the fact of a prior conviction, must be submitted to a jury and proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

Concurrence:

(Thomas & Scalia)
My view is that the Constitution requires a broader rule than the Court adopts. If the legislature defines some core crime and then provides for increasing the punishment of that crime upon a finding of some aggravating fact—then the core crime and the aggravating fact together constitute an aggravated crime, just as much as grand larceny is an aggravated form of petit larceny.

Dissent:

(O’Connor, joined by Rehnquist & Breyer)
Our Court has long recognized that not every fact that bears on a defendant’s punishment need be charged in an indictment, submitted to a jury, and proved by the government beyond a reasonable doubt. Rather, we have held that the “legislature’s definition of the elements of the offense is usually dispositive.” The Court today casts aside our traditional cautious approach and instead embraces a universal and seemingly bright-line rule limiting the power of legislatures.


    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 2. Question 2: Legally require hiring women & minorities Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Civil Rights
  • Headline: Hate crime sentencing without a jury is unconstitutional (Score: -1)
  • Headline 2: Hate crimes must be separate crimes, not just for sentencing (Score: -2)
  • Headline 3: Hate crimes should allow racial intent to affect sentencing (Score: 1)

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.



Democrats participating in 99-478

Stephen Breyer j3dUS Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 
Ruth Bader Ginsburg j1US Democratic Appointee to Supreme Court 



Republicans participating in 99-478

Anthony Kennedy j3dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
Sandra Day O`Connor w3dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2005) 
William Rehnquist j3dUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (until 2005) 
Antonin Scalia j2cUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 
David Souter j1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2009) 
John Paul Stevens w1US Republican Appointee to Supreme Court (retired 2010) 
Clarence Thomas w2cUS Republican Appointee to Supreme Court 



Independents participating in 99-478



Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 2
Republicans: 7
Independents: 0


















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