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The Supreme Court keeps up the suspense

Today the Court handed down three decisions – none of which deal with the death penalty, the Second Amendment, the Confrontation Clause or the Exxon Valdez oil spill. We’ll have to wait until Wednesday or Thursday for those.

The Court did rule that, absent an appeal or cross appeal by the government, a federal appellate court cannot increase the sentence of a criminal defendant sua sponte in Greenlaw v. U.S.

The Court also ruled in Rothgery v. Gillespie County that the right to counsel under the Sixth Amendment is implicated when a defendant was denied counsel at the time of his initial hearing for being a felon in possession of a firearm even when the hearing was conducted without the involvement of a prosecutor.

In the last of today’s three decisions, the Court ruled that third-party companies hired to collect on behalf of pay-phone operators have standing to sue telecommunication companies over the amount of the fees in Sprint Communications v. APCC Services.

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