01-22-2007, 05:11 PM #1A closed mouth gathers no foot
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
- East Coast USA
A Blow To Fighting Sex Offenders
Court has struck down motion to allow tougher sentencing.
01-22-2007, 05:30 PM #2Originally Posted by kidzndogznme
Not exactly. The Supreme Court has said that a California law that allowed judges to impose a longer sentence based on aggravating factors is unconstitutional. A jury - not the judge - has to find that the aggravating factor existed. The standard of proof has to be "beyond a reasonable doubt" rather than "preponderance of the evidence" as the California law allowed.
So the longer sentences are still available, provided that the prosecution proves the aggravating factor(s) to the jury.
The individual case in question was a sexual assault case but the ruling applies to all criminal cases.
This is really just like the case that said that a judge cannot impose the death penalty. All death penalties must be imposed by a jury.