Elements, Sentencing Factors, and the Right to a Jury Trial: An Analysis of Legislative Power and its Limits
13 Pages Posted: 3 Jun 2011
Date Written: June 1, 2011
The Supreme Court often states that the decision as to whether a given fact in a criminal statute is an element or a sentencing factor is a question for Congress, but this seemingly straightforward statement masks some complicated subtleties. This Comment explores the extent to which Congress is theoretically free to make these decisions, and the extent to which Congress makes them in practice.
Keywords: element, sentencing factor, jury trial, due process, United States v. O'Brien, United States v. Harris
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