On August 12, 2020, SKV was appointed to represent Ricardo Edmonds under the Criminal Justice Act in his appeal in front of the Sixth Circuit.
After Edmonds filed a petition for a writ of habeas corpus in May 2018 arguing that that the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines were unconstitutional, the State of Michigan conceded that Edmonds was entitled to habeas relief. However, after the district court subsequently granted Edmonds relief on his sentencing claim and ordered the state to resentence him, the state appealed, arguing that the district court should have ordered a more limited Crosby hearing rather than a full resentencing.
In a published decision on September 3, 2021, the Sixth Circuit unanimously affirmed the district court’s decision. Arguing that the district court abused its discretion, the state claimed that the appropriate remedy for a sentencing violation like the one Edmonds suffered is a Crosby hearing because that was the remedy adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court. According to the state, principles of comity and federalism required a federal court to defer to a state’s adopted remedy when curing a constitutional violation. The Sixth Circuit disagreed, siding with Edmonds, and finding that the district court had broad discretion to craft an appropriate constitutional remedy for the state’s constitutional violation, and the state’s arguments regarding comity and federalism were unavailing.
SKV attorney Eugene Zilberman represented Edmonds on appeal and was responsible for the appellate briefing. A link to the opinion can be found at https://www.opn.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/21a0208p-06.pdf