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The rule of lenity requires courts to resolve unclarity in criminal statutes in favor of defendants.
2) In doing so, it implicitly placed arguments based on the organization of the Code on a high pedestal, possibly above legislative history and substantive policy canons, like the rule of lenity.
title, tingle, tinge, tine, tent, nett, line, lignite, lien, letting, lent, lenity, legit, inlet, ignite, glen, gently, gent, eying, entity, GENTILITY Wordsquare: H.
Although he was, to the great injury of the public, treated with so much lenity as to be permitted to make his escape from the hand of public justice, yet this event had not the happy tendency to lead him to reform his conduct, but, on the contrary, he took occasion from hence to become more hardened and daring in his wickedness.
It is not the case that judges were not looking at text or not thinking about the rule of lenity and such in statutory cases before Justice Scalia, but it is the case that Justice Scalia recast all of those varied interpretive presumptions into the collected doctrines of the field--doctrines that every good lawyer must now brief and cite in litigation, or else commit malpractice.
in a concurring opinion, relied upon the rule of lenity to negate the
15-628) ("[T]he Ninth Circuit's rule would criminalize a broad swath of conduct as to which Section 10(b) is at best ambiguous, the rule of lenity compels a narrower reading of that provision here.
Regardless, the rule of lenity demands less justification than other substantive canons because it acts like a doctrinal mechanism for enforcing the mutual-salience requirement imposed by the conversation model--or at least a greatly relaxed analogue.
This method has been long tried, but tried with so little success that rapine and violence are hourly increasing; yet few seem willing to despair of its efficacy, and of those who employ their speculations upon the present corruption of the people, some propose the introduction of more horrid, lingering and terrific punishments; some are inclined to accelerate the executions; some to discourage pardons; and all seem to think that lenity has given confidence to wickedness, and that we can only be rescued from the talons of robbery by inflexible rigour, and sanguinary justice (Johnson 2000: 212).
The Court also has begun to pare back some of the absurdly broad Federal statutes under the rule of lenity, which holds that ambiguities in a statute should be resolved in favor of the defendant so long as it does not violate legislative intent.
205) As the rule of lenity suggests, sometimes normative canons trace directly to constitutional principles.