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Does this thing happen in the US courts of appeals?

 
 
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2017 09:28 am
Oscar Pistorius' Sentence More Than Doubled

Not particularly interested in the details of the above infamous murder case. Just asking about the possibility and frequency where a person's sentence is increased after a failed attempt at appealing her or his case in the US Courts of Appeals.

I can't remember it happening here (not that I am a rabid or even relative follower of the US legal system). Not saying that's a good or bad thing. Just curious.
 
View best answer, chosen by tsarstepan
centrox
  Selected Answer
 
  4  
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2017 10:00 am
It used to occasionally happen that defendants who lost their sentencing appeals could get a higher sentence on remand, but the Supreme Court disapproved that practice in Greenlaw v. United States in 2008. There, the court held that “absent a Government appeal or cross-appeal,” a federal court of appeals cannot “order an increase in a defendant’s sentence.”

However the United States Court of Appeals, in a way, increased a sentence, where a drug dealer twice appealed a sentence and got it reduced each time, but not content with that, tried a third time with a different district judge, who reinstated the original, first, harshest sentence. As the judge actually said "Sometimes it’s better to quit while you’re ahead."

http://media.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/12-1264P-01A.pdf

0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Fri 24 Nov, 2017 07:04 pm
@tsarstepan,
tsarstepan wrote:
Not particularly interested in the details of the above infamous murder case. Just asking about the possibility and frequency where a person's sentence is increased after a failed attempt at appealing her or his case in the US Courts of Appeals.

I don't believe this latest ruling is the result of the defendant appealing and losing, but rather is a case of the prosecution themselves appealing against the rulings of the lower judges.

I am unsure what the rules in the US are regarding the possibility of prosecution appeals against the rulings of lower judges.

Also, what is really happening is the judges in South Africa's higher court are ignoring the law and imposing a judicial outcome that is contrary to the law.

I suppose it is possible in any system for a high court to be staffed with rogue judges who ignore the law. However, I think it unlikely that such will happen in our Supreme Court anytime soon.
centrox
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Nov, 2017 03:24 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
... the judges in South Africa's higher court are ignoring the law and imposing a judicial outcome that is contrary to the law.

Not contrary to South African law.

oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 25 Nov, 2017 12:57 pm
@centrox,
That is incorrect. The higher court judges issued a ruling that was completely contrary to South African law in order to produce a murder verdict that is not supported by the evidence (which supports manslaughter at best).

Their attempt to obfuscate what they did when explaining their ruling to the public indicates that they were acting out of malice and not out of incompetence. They knew their ruling was legal nonsense.

I'm ashamed for South Africa. No better than Zimbabwe after all.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Nov, 2017 01:04 pm
Let the nattering begin.
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  3  
Reply Sat 25 Nov, 2017 01:38 pm
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
The higher court judges issued a ruling that was completely contrary to South African law

I don't know why you keep saying this. The powers of the court on appeal are:

to confirm, alter or quash the conviction, and (where appropriate) to substitute the conviction on an alternative charge;

to confirm, reduce, alter or set aside the sentence or other order;

to set aside or correct the proceedings;

to give such judgment, or impose such sentence, or give such order, as the magistrate ought to have given, etc.;

to remit the case to the magistrate with instructions to deal with any matter as the High Court may think fit;

to make any order suspending the execution of the sentence, or releasing the accused on bail, that seems appropriate.

In addition to powers of automatic review, the court of appeal may also increase the sentence.

For an example of the approach of the appeal courts to an increase of sentence, see S v Salzwedel and Others, an important case in South African criminal law and criminal procedure, heard in 1999. The respondents had been convicted of murder in a lower court. In sentencing them for a racially motivated crime, the court had accepted mitigation that they had been raised in a racist environment, and sentenced them to three years correctional supervision, a type of probation. The Supreme Court of Appeals set this sentence aside, as it had (and has) the power to do, and substituted a sentence of ten years imprisonment.
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Sat 25 Nov, 2017 06:58 pm
@centrox,
centrox wrote:
oralloy wrote:
The higher court judges issued a ruling that was completely contrary to South African law

I don't know why you keep saying this.

Because it's what they did. They ruled that it is premeditated murder to shoot and kill a criminal who is breaking into your home to harm you, and that since this is what Pistorius believed was happening when he mistakenly shot his girlfriend, that as well counts as premeditated murder.

I'm pretty sure that South African law does not consider it premeditated murder to defend yourself from a criminal who is breaking into your home to do you bodily harm.


centrox wrote:
The powers of the court on appeal are:
to confirm, alter or quash the conviction, and (where appropriate) to substitute the conviction on an alternative charge;

Yes, but when they do that, they are supposed to base their conviction on existing law. They are not supposed to concoct imaginary laws and convict people of crimes that don't exist.
centrox
 
  3  
Reply Sun 26 Nov, 2017 02:32 am
@oralloy,
oralloy wrote:
They ruled that it is premeditated murder to shoot and kill a criminal who is breaking into your home to harm you, and that since this is what Pistorius believed was happening

They didn't believe his claim that he thought it was a burglar.


Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sun 26 Nov, 2017 09:53 am
@centrox,
You won't make an impression. You're running into the brick wall of American gun nut propaganda.
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Sun 26 Nov, 2017 05:46 pm
@centrox,
centrox wrote:
They didn't believe his claim that he thought it was a burglar.

I agree that such a belief was their motive for making up an imaginary crime in order to convict him of premeditated murder.

However, given the complete lack of any evidence to support allegations of premeditated murder, and since it is quite plausible that he did think it was a criminal intruder, justice would have been far better served by simply convicting him of what the government could prove in court. The notion that you should only be punished for a crime if the government can prove in court that you committed that crime is the underlying basis of civilized justice.

And if they felt that the government did prove premeditated murder during the trial (which would have been a stretch since the prosecution's attempt to prove it was a pretty dismal failure), they should have directly convicted him of deliberately murdering her instead of concocting an imaginary crime to base the conviction on.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Sun 26 Nov, 2017 05:48 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
You won't make an impression. You're running into the brick wall of American gun nut propaganda.

It is a tribute to gun rights activism that Freedom Haters equate the gun rights position with a strong sense of justice.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  3  
Reply Sun 26 Nov, 2017 06:23 pm
I don't hate freedom; I do despise people who use such a transparent lie to justify what is license, rather than freedom.
oralloy
 
  -2  
Reply Sun 26 Nov, 2017 08:10 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I don't hate freedom;

Of course not. You just run around denouncing anyone who defends freedom, even in unrelated threads where they are not even talking about freedom.


Setanta wrote:
I do despise people who use such a transparent lie to justify what is license, rather than freedom.

You can't point out any transparent lies here. Not related to the Pistorius case. Not related to the subject of freedom and gun rights. And not related to any other subjects either.
0 Replies
 
 

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