Criminal law implications from Heller decision
June 26, 2008 at 3:58 PM
Douglas Berman (a law professor at Ohio State University) in his blog, Sentencing Law and Policy, writes on the criminal law implications of today's decision in District of Columbia v. Heller. He writes how the court found possession of handguns to be an individual right which can be exercised by all Americans and how this impacts those convicted of gun crimes or have sentencing enhancements.
From the blog:
[I]t would seem that the majority holds that, pursuant to the Second Amendment, "all Americans" have an "individual right to use arms for self-defense." And, the Second Amendment would be most problematically transgressed when this right is severely restricted in the "home, where the need for defense of self, family, and property is most acute" through the threat of years in prison rathen than just a minor fine.
As regular readers know, I think all these assertions add up to making constitutionally questionable the threat of severe sentences on felons in possession of firearms. After all, felons are Americans with a need to protect themselves and their families through keeping guns in their home. And yet, all felons (even non-violent ones like Lewis Libby and Martha Stewart) face the threat of 10 years in federal prison for just possessing a firearm.
Justice Scalia sells out felon gun rights, but on what basis exactly? -- Sentencing Law and Policy