None of those decisions were more important than Alleyne, in which the American Civil Liberties Union and The Sentencing Project successfully argued that mandatory minimum sentences, particularly for drug-related crimes, are one of the main drivers of racial disparities in the nation’s prison system.
As a consequence of Alleyne, the Kansas Attorney General dropped a “Hard 50″ prosecution against Brett Seacat, a man who was convicted of murdering his wife. Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett told The Kansas City Star the ruling also means any “Hard 50″ case on appeal in Kansas are likely to also be impacted by Alleyne. And one of those appeals is Scott Roeder’s.
“Judges might still have some room to maneuver, using avenues such as revisting the sentencing phase of a case still on appeal, or stacking sentences consecutively to reach a higher number of years to be served,” The Kansas City Star opined on Wednesday. “Certainly there are good reasons for sentencing guidelines to help keep justice fair. But families of victims also deserve their due in extreme cases.”
This video is from The Associated Press, published to YouTube on April 1, 2010.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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