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Supreme Court Voids Sentence Handed Down By Virginia Judge In Robbery Case

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Allen Alleyne's case will be sent back to a lower court for sentencing.
Allen Alleyne's case will be sent back to a lower court for sentencing.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a man facing jail time in Virginia will be resentenced since a judge made a decision that a jury should have made.

Allen Alleyne was convicted of robbery and firearm possession for his role in stealing money from a convenience store owner in Virginia. That happened in 2009.

During the trial, the jury said Alleyne's accomplice did not brandish a weapon during the robbery, but the judge said he did, which triggered a mandatory sentence and raised Alleyne's minimum sentence from five to seven years.

Alleyne's lawyers said the brandishing decision should have been the jury's. Instead, the judge made his determination using a lower standard of proof.

Supreme Court justices agreed with Alleyne, saying juries should have final say on facts that trigger mandatory minimum sentences in criminal trials.

The justices sent the case back to the lower court for resentencing.


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