Friday, May 25, 2007

Double Jeopardy

I'm traveling for the next few days, so posting will be light.

That being said, I wanted to spotlight Williams v. Secretary for Dept. of Corrections, 2007 WL 1501023 (11th Cir. 2007), handed down yesterday. The panel held that the trial court's resentencing of petitioner for a prior offense to which she had previously plead guilty to and been sentenced for did not violate the double jeopardy clause of the Constitution viewed through 2254(d)(1) and (d)(2). Not much time to analyze the decision, but here's a quote:

Williams claims a legitimate expectation of finality in her August 3, 2001
sentences. The state courts could discern the proposition from DiFrancesco that
“the Double Jeopardy Clause respects the defendant's ‘legitimate expectations'
as to the length of [her] sentence.” United States v. Jones, 722 F.2d 632, 637 (11th Cir.1983).
Applying this principle to the facts of this case in order to reach the
conclusion that Williams did not have such an expectation was not unreasonable.
The entry of the August 3, 2001 sentences was tantamount to a clerical error.
The sentences were not pronounced in open court. Instead, at the August 3, 2001
hearing, Williams's statement reflected an understanding that her failure to
comply with her obligations would result in 20 years' imprisonment. The March
15, 2002 hearing further supports a finding that Williams's expectation was of a
20-year sentence in cases 99-41128 and 00-20802.In light of the foregoing, we discern no clear err in the
district court's finding that the August 3, 2001 entry of sentences for time
served in cases 99-41128 and 00-20802 was tantamount to a clerical error.