__ U.S. __, 17-1672, United States v. Haymond

Docket Nº:17-1672
Citation:__ U.S. __, 139 S.Ct. 2369, 204 L.Ed.2d 897, 27 Fla.L.Weekly Fed. S 1079
Opinion Judge:GORSUCH, Justice.
Party Name:UNITED STATES, Petitioner v. Andre Ralph HAYMOND
Attorney:Eric J. Feigin for the petitioner. William D. Lunn for the respondent. Jeffrey T. Green, Matthew J. Letten, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC, Sarah O’Rourke Schrup, Northwestern Supreme, Court Practicum, Chicago, IL, William D. Lunn, Counsel of Record, Tulsa, OK, for respondent. Noel J. Francisc...
Judge Panel:GORSUCH, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. BREYER, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined. Justice ...
Case Date:June 26, 2019
Court:United States Supreme Court
 
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__ U.S. __

139 S.Ct. 2369, 204 L.Ed.2d 897, 27 Fla.L.Weekly Fed. S 1079

UNITED STATES, Petitioner

v.

Andre Ralph HAYMOND

No. 17-1672

United States Supreme Court

June 26, 2019

Argued February 26, 2019

Syllabus

[*]

Respondent Andre Haymond was convicted of possessing child pornography, a crime that carries a prison term of zero to 10 years. After serving a prison sentence of 38 months, and while on supervised release, Mr. Haymond was again found with what appeared to be child pornography. The government sought to revoke his supervised release and secure a new and additional prison sentence. A district judge, acting without a jury, found by a preponderance of the evidence that Mr. Haymond knowingly downloaded and possessed child pornography. Under 18 U.S.C. § 3583(e)(3), the judge could have sentenced him to a prison term of between zero and two additional years. But because possession of child pornography is an enumerated offense under § 3583(k), the judge instead imposed that provision’s 5-year mandatory minimum. On appeal, the Tenth Circuit observed that whereas a jury had convicted Mr. Haymond beyond a reasonable doubt of a crime carrying a prison term of zero to 10 years, this new prison term included a new and higher mandatory minimum resting on facts found only by a judge by a preponderance of the evidence. The Tenth Circuit therefore held that § 3583(k) violated the right to trial by jury guaranteed by the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

Held : The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded.

869 F.3d 1153, vacated and remanded.

Justice GORSUCH, joined by Justice GINSBURG, Justice SOTOMAYOR, and Justice KAGAN, concluded that the application of § 3583(k) in this case violated Mr. Haymond’s right to trial by jury. Pp. 2375 - 2385.

(a) As at the time of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments’ adoption, a judge’s sentencing authority derives from, and is limited by, the jury’s factual findings of criminal conduct. A jury must find beyond a reasonable doubt every fact " ‘which the law makes essential to [a] punishment’ " that a judge might later seek to impose. Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296, 304, 124 S.Ct. 2531, 159 L.Ed.2d 403. Historically, that rule’s application proved straightforward, but recent legislative innovations have raised difficult questions. In Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 120 S.Ct. 2348, 147 L.Ed.2d 435, for example, this Court held unconstitutional a sentencing scheme that allowed a judge to increase a defendant’s sentence beyond the statutory maximum based on the judge’s finding of new facts by a preponderance of the evidence. And in Alleyne v. United States, 570 U.S. 99, 133 S.Ct. 2151, 186 L.Ed.2d 314, the Court held that Apprendi’s principle "applies with equal force to facts increasing the mandatory minimum." 570 U.S. at 111-112, 133 S.Ct. 2151. The lesson for this case is clear: Based solely on the facts reflected in the jury’s verdict, Mr. Haymond faced a lawful prison term of between zero and 10 years. But just like the facts the judge found at the defendant’s sentencing hearing in Alleyne, the facts the judge found here increased "the legally prescribed range of allowable sentences" in violation of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Id., at 115, 133 S.Ct. 2151. Pp. 2375 - 2379.

(b) The government’s various replies are unpersuasive. First, it stresses that Alleyne arose in a different procedural posture, but this Court has repeatedly rejected efforts to dodge the demands of the Fifth and Sixth Amendments by the simple expedient of relabeling a criminal prosecution. And this Court has already recognized that punishments for revocation of supervised release arise from and are "treat[ed] ... as part of the penalty for the initial offense." Johnson v. United States, 529 U.S. 694, 700, 120 S.Ct. 1795, 146 L.Ed.2d 727. Because a defendant’s final sentence includes any revocation sentence he may receive, § 3583(k)’s 5-year mandatory minimum mirrors the unconstitutional sentencing enhancement in Alleyne . Second, the government suggests that Mr. Haymond’s sentence for violating the terms of his supervised release was actually fully authorized by the jury’s verdict, because his supervised release was from the outset always subject to the possibility of judicial revocation and § 3583(k)’s mandatory prison sentence. But what is true in Apprendi and Alleyne can be no less true here: A mandatory minimum 5-year sentence that comes into play only as a result of additional judicial factual findings by a preponderance of the evidence cannot stand. Finally, the government contends that § 3583(k)’s supervised release revocation procedures are practically identical to historic parole and probation revocation procedures, which have usually been understood to comport with the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. That argument overlooks a critical difference between § 3583(k) and traditional parole and probation practices. Where parole and probation violations traditionally exposed a defendant only to the remaining prison term authorized for his crime of conviction, § 3583(k) exposes a defendant to an additional mandatory minimum prison term beyond that authorized by the jury’s verdict— all based on facts found by a judge by a mere preponderance of the evidence. Pp. 2378 - 2383.

(c) The Tenth Circuit may address on remand the question whether its remedy— declaring the last two sentences of § 3583(k) "unconstitutional and unenforceable"— sweeps too broadly, including any question concerning whether the government’s argument to that effect was adequately preserved. Pp. 2384 - 2385.

Justice BREYER agreed that the particular provision at issue, 18 U.S.C. § 3583(k), is unconstitutional. Three features of § 3583(k), considered together, make it less like ordinary supervised-release revocation and more like punishment for a new offense, to which the jury right would typically attach. First, § 3583(k) applies only when a defendant commits a discrete set of criminal offenses specified in the statute. Second, § 3583(k) takes away the judge’s discretion to decide whether violation of the conditions of supervised release should result in imprisonment and for how long. Third, § 3583(k) limits the judge’s discretion in a particular manner: by imposing a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of "not less than 5 years" upon a judge’s finding that a defendant has committed a listed offense. But because the role of the judge in a typical supervised-release proceeding is consistent with traditional parole and because Congress clearly did not intend the supervised release system to differ from parole in this respect, Justice BREYER would not transplant the Apprendi line of cases to the supervised-release context. Pp. 2373 - 2375.

GORSUCH, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which GINSBURG, SOTOMAYOR, and KAGAN, JJ., joined. BREYER, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., and THOMAS and KAVANAUGH, JJ., joined.

[139 S.Ct. 2371] Eric J. Feigin for the petitioner.

William D. Lunn for the respondent.

Jeffrey T. Green, Matthew J. Letten, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC, Sarah O’Rourke Schrup, Northwestern Supreme, Court Practicum, Chicago, IL, William D. Lunn, Counsel of Record, Tulsa, OK, for respondent.

Noel J. Francisco, Solicitor General, Brian A. Benczkowski, Assistant Attorney General, Eric J. Feigin, Christopher G. Michel, Assistants to the Solicitor General, William A. Glaser, Attorney, Department of Justice, Washington, DC, for petitioner.

OPINION

GORSUCH, Justice.

Justice GORSUCH announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which Justice GINSBURG, Justice SOTOMAYOR, and Justice KAGAN joined.

[139 S.Ct. 2373] Only a jury, acting on proof beyond a reasonable doubt, may take a person’s liberty. That promise stands as one of the Constitution’s most vital protections against arbitrary government. Yet in this case a congressional statute compelled a federal judge to send a man to prison for a minimum of five years without empaneling a jury of his peers or requiring the government to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. As applied here, we do not hesitate to hold that the statute violates the Fifth and Sixth Amendments.

I

After a jury found Andre Haymond guilty of possessing child pornography in violation of federal law, the question turned to sentencing. The law authorized the district judge to impose a prison term of between zero and 10 years, 18 U.S.C. § 2252(b)(2), and a period of supervised release of between 5 years and life, § 3583(k). Because Mr. Haymond had no criminal history and was working to help support his mother who had suffered a stroke, the judge concluded that Mr. Haymond was "not going to get much out of being in prison" and sentenced him to a prison term of 38 months, followed by 10 years of supervised release.

[139 S.Ct. 2374] After completing his prison sentence, however, Mr. Haymond encountered trouble on supervised release. He sat for multiple polygraph tests in which he denied possessing or viewing child pornography, and each time the test indicated no deception. But when the government conducted an unannounced search of his computers and cellphone, it turned up 59 images that appeared to be child pornography. Based on that discovery, the government sought to revoke Mr. Haymond’s supervised release and secure a new and additional prison sentence.

A hearing followed before a district judge acting without a jury, and under a preponderance of the evidence rather than a reasonable doubt standard. In light of expert testimony regarding the manner in which cellphones can "cache" images without the users knowledge, the judge found...

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