Approved and Edited by Craig M. Coscarelli
Since the June 17, 2013 release of Alleyne v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2151 (2013) by the Supreme Court of the United States, there has been much discussion about the differences between
Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U. S. 466 (2000) and Alleyne. Of course, the main discussion centers around retroactivity. I believe that the excellent work and research done by Tommy Walker and his law students below dispels any doubt that Alleyne is retroactive.
The Sixth Amendment provides that those “accused” of a “crime” have the right to a trial “by an impartial jury.” This right, in conjunction with Due Process, requires that each element of a crime be proved to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt. In Re Winship, 397 U.S. 358 (1970). The substance and scope of this right depend upon the proper designation of the facts that are elements of the crime.
In Alleyne , the Supreme Court dropped a big bombshell on state and federal sentencing regimes. By holding, that any facts that increase the prescribed range of penalties to which a criminal defendant is exposed are elements of the crime. This is an important decision that has been a long time coming.