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Showing posts from July, 2009

Judge Sotomayor: Criminal Justice Highlights

With Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation hearings set to begin on July 13, there have been many speculations as to which way the Supreme Court nominee will lean on criminal justice issues. A brief look at her experience as a former prosecutor and at some of her decisions on the bench may help to gain some insight into what type of justice may soon be taking the bench on the highest judicial body in the United States. With respect to criminal cases, statistically, more often than not, Judge Sotomayor has sided with the government. As of 2002, of the 90 criminal law-related cases considered by the appellate panel on which Sotomayor served, she sided with the government 65 times and with the defendants or prisoners 25 times. Whatever side she has ruled for, Sotomayor has nearly always been in the majority and has dissented on a defendant’s behalf only once. Looking more closely at her record, Judge Sotomayor has some notable criminal justice rulings on the subjects of federal sentencing and t…