Betterman v. Montana and the Underenforcement of Constitutional Rights at Sentencing

18 Pages Posted: 7 Oct 2016

See all articles by Carissa Byrne Hessick

Carissa Byrne Hessick

University of North Carolina School of Law

Date Written: October 3, 2016

Abstract

This past Term, in Betterman v. Montana, the U.S. Supreme Court took up the question whether the Sixth Amendment’s speedy trial guarantee applies to sentencing proceedings. In a unanimous opinion by Justice Ginsburg, the Court held that it does not. Perhaps in order to achieve unanimity, Betterman left open important questions, which may ultimately allow defendants, at least in some situations, to demand a speedy sentencing. But, as this short commentary explains, Betterman represents an unfortunate example of the courts’ tendency to underenforce constitutional rights at sentencing.

Keywords: Sixth Amendment, speedy trial, sentencing, Supreme Court

Suggested Citation

Hessick, Carissa Byrne, Betterman v. Montana and the Underenforcement of Constitutional Rights at Sentencing (October 3, 2016). Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Vol. 14, No. 1, Forthcoming ; UNC Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2847124. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2847124

Carissa Byrne Hessick (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

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