At Sentencing Law and Policy, Douglas Berman wonders how Friday's decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit invalidating the District of Columbia's gun control laws will affect sentence enhancements, particularly those predicated on simple gun possession:
in the wake of Parker, defendants facing sentencing enhancements based on having guns in their homes likely can and should raise constitutional objections based on the Second Amendment. And courts, applying constitutional doubt doctrines, probably should now be more cautious about broad applications of sentencing enhancements based on having guns in the home.
Berman notes a case in which the defendant's sentence was enhanced because of guns found in his home. Is this kosher after the Parker decision? After all, if a criminal defendant has a constitutional right to own a gun in the home, on what basis could simple gun possession in the home increase a defendant's sentence? It's an interesting question that I leave for sentencing mavens and other VC readers to ponder.
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