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Burgess v. United States

Docket No. Op. Below Argument Opinion Vote Author Term
06-11429 4th Cir. Mar 24, 2008
Apr 16, 2008 TBD Ginsburg OT 2007
 
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Issue: 1. Whether the term "felony drug offense" as used in federal statutes requiring imposition of enhanced mandatory minimum 20 years' imprisonment when drug offender has a prior conviction for a felony drug offense must be read in pari materia with federal statutes defining both felony and felony drug offense so as to require imposition of minimum 20-year sentence only if prior drug conviction as both punishable by more than one year in prison and characterized as a felony by controlling law; 2. When the court finds that a criminal statute is ambiguous, must it then turn to the rule of lenity to resolve ambiguity?

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Judgment: Affirmed, in an opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on April 16, 2008.

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