The 2012-13 Supreme Court term significantly advanced the goal of fundamental fairness in sentencing. In two 5-4 decisions, rendered by different majorities, the court held that: (1) the Constitution’s Ex Post Facto Clause is violated when more punitive Sentencing Guidelines not in effect at the time a defendant committed the crime are applied in calculating his sentence, Peugh v. United States, __ S. Ct. __ (June 10, 2013) (Sotomayor, J.); and (2) just as a factor that increases a defendant’s maximum sentence is an element of a crime that must be determined by a jury, so too is any factor that increases a defendant’s mandatory minimum sentence. Alleyne v. United States, __ S. Ct. __ (June 17, 2013) (Thomas, J.).
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