Monday, March 07, 2005

All 12 Members of the Tenth Circuit to Hear Cases in Oklahoma Universities

The Tenth Circuit Court of the United States is hearing cases at the University of Oklahoma College of Law today. Though usually only a panel of three hears cases outside of Denver, a full panel of 12 judges will consider arguments in two appeals out of New Mexico.
The criminal appeals on Monday challenge the constitutionality of federal sentencing guidelines. In January, the Supreme Court ruled that guidelines allowing federal judges to add time to a defendant's sentence if they found an aggravating factor, such as use of a gun, violated the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial. Sergio Gonzalez-Huerta was convicted of illegally re-entering the United States after being convicted of a felony. He is asking that his sentence of four years and nine months be thrown out.
The panel also plans to conduct hearings at the University of Tulsa and Oklahoma City University in the next week. The Court will hear over 60 cases in this time.


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