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Oral Arguments Set in Constitutional Challenge to Applicability of Brady v. Maryland at Suppression Hearings

For Immediate Release: September 30, 2014

Contact: Craig M. Sandberg, 312.263.7249,

Chicago, IL – In this case of first impression in the Circuit, Defendant contends that Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1962) applies to motions to suppress and suppression hearings and this Circuit should join two sister circuits (Fifth and Ninth Circuits) that have ruled that Brady does apply to suppression hearings. The Sixth Circuit has stated, although has not ruled directly, it was assuming the applicability of Brady to suppression hearings.

Defendant, also, contends the recent decision of the Supreme Court of the United States in Alleyne v. United States, 133 S. Ct. 2151 (2013) (facts that increase a mandatory minimum penalty are elements that must be submitted to a jury and found beyond a reasonable doubt) renders its prior decision in Almendarez-Torres v. United States, 523 U.S. 224 (1998) (a prior conviction used to enhance the punishment for a crime was not an element of the current charged offense and was not required to be pled in the indictment or proved to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt) effectively overruled. In this case, Defendant was indicted under federal felon-in-possession laws and for having at least three previous convictions for a violent felony, which makes the sentence under 18 U.S.C. § 924 a mandatory minimum fifteen (15) years (instead of a statutory maximum of ten (10) years). At trial, the government submitted evidence, via stipulation, of only one felony conviction. Defendant contends that, in light of Alleyne, the government failed to submit and prove to a jury beyond reasonable doubt those facts necessary to establish he was subject to the mandatory minimum sentence.

WHAT: Oral arguments begin in United States v. Shields (Docket No. 13-3726).

WHO: Craig M. Sandberg of the law firm of Muslin & Sandberg. Mr. Sandberg represents the defendant pursuant to the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”), Title 18, United States Code, §3006A the Criminal Justice Act (“CJA”), having been appointed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

WHEN: Wednesday, October 29, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

WHERE: United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Everett McKinley Dirksen United States Courthouse, 219 South Dearborn Street, Room 2721, Chicago, Illinois

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