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Dual Sovereignty Decision (Potential Blockbuster)

This just in from the Connecticut Law Tribune:

On June 21, the government lost its interlocutory appeal of Squatrito's ruling. "We hold that the statements obtained in violation of Mills's right to counsel as to the state proceedings must also be suppressed in the federal proceedings because the two proceedings were for the 'same offense,' each requiring proof of identical essential elements," Judge Barrington D. Parker wrote for a unanimous three-judge panel.

Rejecting the government's position that the gun charges were not the same offense for purposes of the Sixth Amendment, because they were prosecuted by separate sovereigns, the 2nd Circuit weighed in on an issue that has split the circuits and may be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In the 1991 U.S. Supreme Court case of Texas v. Cobb, the high court ruled that that the Sixth Amendment right to counsel extends to all uncharged crimes that are the "same offense" as the charged crime. Cobb looked to case law on double jeopardy to define what constitutes identity of offenses. But the decision didn't address whether an uncharged crime by a separate sovereign is nevertheless the "same offense" as the charged crime.

Here's the full article (free registration required).  When I get some time, I'm going to see if the case is the blockbuster the author characterizes it to be.  Here's the case: U.S. v. Mills (CA2).

UPDATE: Yes, the case is indeed as represented in the article.  My quick thought is this: Given the extensive collusion between state and federal prosecutors, e.g., Project Safe Neighborhoods and Project Exhile, the government will petition for cert. (it's a no-brainer that they'll ask for rehearing en banc, so they'd have to be denied that first).  Assuming the government does file a cert. petition, it's likely cert. will be granted - given that there's a circuit split, and given that the government lost.

Rather than summarizing the opinion, let me refer you to the article.

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