A jury found Allen Alleyne guilty of robbery under a federal statue, but the jury did not find him guilty of brandishing a weapon during the robbery. A federal criminal statute provides that a judge can raise the mandatory minimum sentence for robbery with a finding that it was more likely than not that the defendant brandished a firearm. Thus, a judge’s finding can raise the mandatory minimum prison sentence even when a jury was unable to come to that same conclusion beyond a reasonable doubt. The Supreme Court allowed such findings from judges in Harris v. United States. Now, the court will reconsider that position or have the opportunity to further clarify how much sentencing discretion can be given to judges under federal statutes.
Whether this Court’s decision in Harris v. United States, 536 U.S. 545 (2002), should be overruled.
Should the Supreme Court overrule Harris v. United States and require that a jury find facts beyond a reasonable doubt in order to enhance a sentence beyond the ordinarily prescribed statutory maximum?
Chunon L. Bailey was detained approximately a mile from his residence after two police officers observed him leave his home prior to the execution of a search warrant. The officers brought Bailey back to his home and arrested him after the search turned up drugs and a gun. Bailey seeks to vacate his conviction, arguing that the detention violated his Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure. In this case, the Court must resolve a circuit split surrounding the application of Michigan v. Summers, which held that police may detain an occupant outside of the premises to be searched so long as the detention is reasonable. Bailey argues that Summers should not be extended to situations where the occupant has left the immediate vicinity of the premises to be searched, as this expansion would further none of the justifications described by the Court in that case. In response, the United States argues that the reasoning underlying Summers justifies this detention and that any potential Fourth Amendment issues can be resolved by a reasonableness test. If the Supreme Court sides with the United States and affirms the decision below, the scope of police power to detain occupants prior to the execution of a search warrant will be significantly expanded.
Whether, pursuant to Michigan v. Summers, 452 U.S. 692 (1981), police officers may detain an individual incident to the execution of a search warrant when the individual has left the immediate vicinity of the premises before the warrant is executed.