Supreme Court Cases Impacting Criminal Sentencing

Recent Supreme Court cases that affect issues of criminal sentencing:

United States v. Comstock – The Supreme Court upheld a law passed by Congress that allows civil commitment of mentally ill federal prisoners who are sex offenders. The commitment may continue beyond the date of the prisoner’s scheduled release under their sentence.

Carr v. United States – The federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) requires defendants who commit certain sex-related offenses to register with state and federal databases. The Supreme Court held that a defendant who committed a sex offense before SORNA became law does not have to register under the statute.

Dolan v. United States – A sentencing court that has missed the 90 day deadline may nevertheless order restitution, at least in some circumstances.

Carachuri-Rosendo v. Holder – Federal law forbids a lawful permanent resident who has been convicted of an “aggravated felony” from asking an immigration judge to cancel his deportation. Also, a defendant who is convicted multiple times for drug offenses can be deemed to have committed an aggravated felony. The Supreme Court held that second or subsequent crimes of possession of drugs are not aggravated felonies under federal immigration law when the underlying state conviction is not based on the fact that there was a prior conviction.