In this appeal from a judgment of conviction, appellant challenged the District Court's pretrial rulings, arguing that the provision governing the calculation of prior qualified driving incidents under the felony driving-while-intoxicated statute was unconstitutionally vague and the rule of lenity
should apply to resolve any ambiguity.
(213.) While this "double doubt" is not quite a case for the rule of lenity
, see, e.g., United States v.
In lieu of procedural techniques like standing and ripeness, (24) these tools of passive avoidance include traditional statutory interpretation canons that are close cousins of avoidance--such as the rule of lenity
and the federalism clear statement principle--as well as other tools, like the "mischief" rule, that help the Court defeat charges of judicial activism.
To find otherwise, he claimed, would violate his 14th Amendment Due Process rights and the rule of lenity
(156.) This could be an appropriate situation in which to apply the rule of lenity
; however, "[t]he principle of strict construction 'does not mean that every criminal statute must be given the narrowest possible meaning in complete disregard of the purpose of the legislature.'" United States v.
history, deference to administrative agencies, and the rule of lenity
Finally, Bradshaw invokes the rule of lenity
to argue for reversal of her conviction.
In the Supreme Court, Lockhart generated dueling opinions from Justices Sotomayor and Kagan, both of whom wielded grammar canons, statutory structure, legislative history, and the rule of lenity
. The district judge, by contrast, had made short work of the issue that would vex the Justices, rejecting the defendant's argument about the statute's coverage by stating during a hearing, "I'm ruling that the plain reading of the statute negates [the defendant's] position." (8) The district judge in Bond, who likewise ruled from the bench, did not even address the federalism-tinged version of the canon of constitutional avoidance that the Supreme Court would later use to justify its narrow construction of the federal chemical-weapons statute.
Marquart of the Circuit Court of Buchanan County, Fanning's attorney argued that at the very least, the statute was ambiguous, so under the rule of lenity
, it should be construed in her favor.
The "rule of lenity
" also called for strict construction that resolves doubts in favor of the accused, Herring said.<br />Herring acknowledged it was a different stance from his office's pleadings in the Dellis case.<br />"I have concluded, however, that the position set forth in that brief was incorrect and did not serve the ends of justice.
Connors represented the defendant driver.<br />"As the court stated, both interpretations were reasonable, butthe rule of lenity
resolving ambiguityin favor of a defendant carried the day," Connors said.<br />John E.
Courts Should Not Apply the Rule of Lenity
to Create a