United States v. Ashqar (7th Cir.)

October 5, 2009

* United States v. Ashqar (7th Cir.) (Oct. 2, 2009) (affirming sentence involving the “terrorism enhancement”)

Last week I noted that the Supreme Court granted cert in a case involving whether certain sentence-enhancement factors had to be tried to the jury rather than found by the judge, and I suggested this might be of interest to the list because of the importance of the “terrorism enhancement.” Right on cue, the 7th Circuit last Friday addressed an aspect of this question in United States v. Ashqar, ruling in the government’s favor (the issue here was the defendant’s claim that acquittal of the defendant on certain counts amounted to a “finding” in the defendant’s favor on certain facts, facts as to which the judge later found in the government’s favor at the sentencing phase). The full opinion is here (and the audio of oral argument is here).