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Cunningham: Why Federal Practitioners and Policy-Makers Should Pay Attention

5 Pages Posted: 15 May 2006  

Michael M. O'Hear

Marquette University - Law School


In Cunningham v. California, the United States Supreme Court will determine the constitutionality of California's determinate sentencing system. Cunningham offers the possibility of another important decision in the line of cases, beginning with Apprendi v. New Jersey, that have expanded the right to a jury trial in the sentencing context. The case not only warrants close attention from those who work in the California system, but should also be followed closely by practitioners and policy-makers at the federal level. At a time when new Justices have recently joined the Court, and the views of some old Justices may be changing, Cunningham may offer insights into the future direction of the Court's Apprendi jurisprudence, as well as an occasion for commentary by the Court on the new federal system of advisory sentencing guidelines.

Suggested Citation

O'Hear, Michael M., Cunningham: Why Federal Practitioners and Policy-Makers Should Pay Attention. Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 18, No. 4, p. 260, 2006; Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 06-25. Available at SSRN:

Michael M. O'Hear (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

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P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
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414-288-5914 (Fax)

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