NYLJ: Second Circuit Overturns State’s Persistent Felony Offender Sentencing Law

Second Circuit Overturns State’s Persistent Felony Offender Sentencing Law

Joel Stashenko
New York Law Journal
April 01, 2010

A state statute that permits stiffer sentences for “persistent” felony offenders violates the constitutional rights of defendants to a jury trial, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled today.

Citing a series of U.S. Supreme Court rulings, especially Blakely v. Washington, 542 U.S. 296 (2004), a three-judge panel unanimously concluded the state scheme vested unconstitutionally broad discretion in judges to set sentences.

“We hold that the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, applicable to the states as incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment, prohibits the type of judicial fact-finding resulting in enhanced sentences under New York’s [Persistent Felony Offender statute,” Judge Ralph K. Winter wrote for the panel.

The circuit made its ruling today in five cases it heard arguments on at the same time on April 16, 2008: Besser v. Walsh, 05-4375-pr; Phillips v. Artus, 06-3550-pr; Portalatin v. Graham, 07-1599-pr; Morris v. Artus, 07-3588-pr; and Washington v. Poole, 07-3949-pr.

Read the entire NYLJ article here.

ZeuAPP-Some Good Things Are Free

ZeuAPP | Zeusoft

Pick software that you want, start download and install it.
One click download the application you want to install,

ZeuAPP in its list contains 82 applications.All applications are freeware or open source, and you are free to download them.

ZeuAPP has 12 categories: Archivers, Audio, Video, Chat-IM, Internet, CD Burners, P2P-File sharing, Games, Graphic, Office, Security, Utility.

Sorry…Windows only, so far.

Download here


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Findlaw: Va. Sues Over Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act


(U.S. Dist. Ct., E.D. Va., Mar. 23, 2010) – Virginia filed a federal lawsuit today, charging that if its citizens and residents decide not to buy health insurance, then they can’t be subject to the new federal health care and insurance law since they are not not engaging in interstate commerce. Learn why Virginia filed its own lawsuit, instead of joining the multi-state lawsuit filed by thirteen other states challenging the new law.

Va. Health Care suit

FINDLAW: Daily Opinion Summaries for U.S. Supreme Court – 2/23/10

United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Espinosa, No. 08–1134

In an appeal from a bankruptcy court order in a Chapter 13 proceeding, enforcing the confirmation of a student loan debtor’s plan and directing creditors to cease any collection efforts, the Ninth Circuit’s judgment reversing a district court’s order in favor of student loan creditor is affirmed where: 1) creditor’s actual notice of the filing and contents of the debtor’s plan more than satisfied its due process rights, and thus debtor’s failure to make the required service did not entitle creditor to relief under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b)(4); 2) although the bankruptcy court’s failure to find undue hardship in this case was a legal error, the confirmation order was enforceable and binding on creditor because it had actual notice of the error and failed to object or timely appeal; but 3) the Ninth Circuit erred in holding that bankruptcy courts must confirm a plan proposing the discharge of a student loan debt without an undue hardship determination in an adversary proceeding unless the creditor timely raises a specific objection.

New York’s Family Health Care Decisions Act

New York Family Health Care Decisions Act

by David Goldfarb
Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP
On March 16, 2010, New York’s Governor David Paterson signed the Family Health Care Decisions Act (FHCDA) into law. The FHCDA allows family members to make health care decisions, including decisions about the withholding or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, on behalf of patients who lose their ability to make such decisions and have not prepared advance directives regarding their wishes.


Read David Goldfarb’s entire article here.

Paper Chase: New York appeals court rules state can annul same-sex civil unions

JURIST – Paper Chase: New York appeals court rules state can annul same-sex civil unions

New York appeals court rules state can annul same-sex civil unions
Daniel Makosky at 10:22 AM ET
[JURIST] A New York state appeals court ruled [text, PDF] Thursday that the state’s courts have jurisdiction to hear requests to annul civil unions performed in other states. The Third Judicial Department Appellate Division [official website] reversed a2008 Schenectady County Supreme Court [official website] decision, citing multiple protections New York affords to same-sex partnerships as sufficient to establish competency despite the state lacking its own civil union law:
Here, while New York has not created a specific mechanism for dissolution of a civil union validly entered into in another state, neither has it exercised its power, by statute or other legislative enactment, to prohibit an action for dissolution of a civil union. Since Supreme Court’s jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action has not been proscribed, and this matter involves a dispute for which “adequate relief by means of an existing form of action is [un]available to the plaintiff,” Supreme Court is competent to adjudicate the case.
The case involved a same-sex New York couple that that entered into a civil union in Vermont. Vermont, however, was unable to provide relief since it requires at least one party to be a resident of the state for at least one year.


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