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DePIERRE v. UNITED STATES

Docket No.: 09-1533
Certiorari Granted: 10/12/10
Argued: February 28, 2011
Decided: 06/09/11

Topics:

ADA, FSA, Fair Sentencing Act, capital murder, murder, sentencing guidelines

PartyNames: Frantz DePierre v. United States
Petitioner: Frantz DePierre
Respondent: United States

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Citation: 599 F.3d 25

Frantz DePierre
v.
United States
Question Presented:

Section 841(b)(1)(A) of Title 21 requires the imposition of a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence upon persons who engage in a drug-related offense involving either (a) five kilograms or more of "coca leaves" or "cocaine," or (b) fifty grams (.05 kilograms) or more of those substances, or of a mixture of those substances, "which contain[] cocaine base." The question presented is whether the term "cocaine base" encompasses every form of cocaine that is classified chemically as a base - which would mean that the ten-year mandatory minimum applies to an offense involving 50 grams or more of raw coca leaves or of the paste derived from coca leaves, but that 5000 grams of cocaine powder would be required to trigger the same ten-year minimum - or whether the term "cocaine base" is limited to "crack" cocaine.

Question:

Does the term "cocaine base" encompass every form of cocaine that is classified chemically as a base, or is the term "cocaine base" limited to "crack" cocaine?

DePIERRE v. UNITED STATES
ORAL ARGUMENT

02/28/11

Listen to Oral Argument in DePIERRE v. UNITED STATES
Holding: affirmed
Vote: 9-0
Opinion By:
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