FINDLAW:Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 4/16/08


CONSTITUTIONAL LAW, CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

Baze v. Rees, No. 07–5439
Kentucky’s lethal injection protocol used as its method of execution does not violate the Eighth Amendment’s ban on cruel and unusual punishments. (Five concurring opinions and dissent)

 

CRIMINAL LAW & PROCEDURE, SENTENCING

Burgess v. US, No. 06-11429
The term “felony drug offense” contained in the Controlled Substances Act’s (CSA), 21 U.S.C. section 841(b)(1)(A), provision for a 20-year minimum sentence, is defined exclusively by section 802(44) and does not incorporate section 802(13)’s definition of “felony.” Consequently, a state drug offense punishable by more than one year qualifies as a “felony drug offense,” even if state law classifies the offense as a misdemeanor.