Apprendi Vs New Jersey Case Study

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Apprendi vs. New Jersey Apprendi vs. New Jersey landmarked United States Supreme Court decisions dealing with provoking factors in crimes. Furthermore, it was found that judges were prohibited to sentence beyond the maximum amount because of factors other than the ones found by the jury. Beyond a reasonable doubt was the key word in this case. This case decision has been the precedent for the rights of people in jury trials. This case set the tone for other trials where an increased prison term was questionable. It was December 22, 1994, sometime early in the morning, when Charles C. Apprendi shot numerous rounds from his .22 caliber rifle into an African-American family’s home. Their house was located in Vineland, New Jersey in an all-white …show more content…

He was charged with second-degree possession of a firearm, a five to ten year sentence. During the case his charges were not seen as part of the state's hate crime Gragg2 act, which includes a much harsher prison sentence, if shown by the evidence that the defendant committed the crime for the sole purpose of harming someone because of their ethnicity. With all the charges in hand Apprendi was looking at close to ten years in prison. However, the judge of the trial attempted to increase his sentence because of the states hate crime act. Apprendi went on to challenge the charges. He believed that it was unconstitutional to get an increased sentence based on the evidence that was given. His argument was that according to the due process clause it must be proven beyond reasonable doubt to a jury. He claimed it wasn’t constitutional for a judge to make that ruling just based on the evidence presented to him. The main question of this case was whether the fourth amendment requires that an improved maximum prison term for an offense of ten to twenty years be proven with facts beyond the reasonable …show more content…

Apprendi even presented a confirmation from a psychologist and from several witnesses who testified that he had not had a past of being racist. He did not believe that the statement the police gave was accurate. When he made the testimony he described that his actions were a result of the intoxication, rejecting that it had anything to do with the fact that the family was African-American. He denied being racially biased what so ever. Even with his statement and the eye witnesses, the judge decided that he would use the police officers

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