Monday, December 23, 2013

Roberts v. United States case brief

Roberts v. United States case brief summary
445 U.S. 552 (1980)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner appealed from the judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, which found that it was appropriate to consider, as one factor in imposing sentence, petitioner's refusal to cooperate with officials investigating a criminal conspiracy in which he was a confessed participant.

CASE FACTS
In imposing sentence upon petitioner, the district court considered petitioner's refusal to cooperate with officials investigating a criminal conspiracy in which petitioner was a confessed participant. The court of appeals vacated a special parole term, but otherwise affirmed the agreement. Petitioner appealed.

DISCUSSION
  • The court stated that no limitation was to be placed on information concerning the background, character, and conduct of a person convicted of an offense which a court could consider for the purpose of imposing an appropriate sentence. 
  • The court found that petitioner did not assert his U.S. Constitutional AmendmentV privilege against self-incrimination in the district court when the district court could have determined whether his claim was legitimate. 
  • The court found that petitioner had identified nothing which might have impaired his free choice to admit, to deny, or to refuse to answer during his confession. 
  • Therefore, the court refused to invalidate petitioner's sentence.
CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals. The court held that it was appropriate to consider petitioner's refusal to cooperate with officials investigating a criminal conspiracy in which he was a confessed participant as one factor in imposing petitioner's sentence.


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