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United States v. Watts
United States Supreme Court
519 U.S. 148 (1997)
Police found cocaine base hidden in Watts’s (defendant) kitchen and two loaded guns and ammunition hidden in his bedroom. Watts was convicted of cocaine-base possession with intent to distribute but acquitted of the related gun charge. The sentencing judge found that Watts had in fact possessed the guns in connection with the drug offense under a preponderance of the evidence and used that evidence to enhance Watts’s sentence under federal guidelines. Watts appealed the sentence. The court of appeals held that a sentencing court could not consider any evidence of a crime of which the defendant had been acquitted. The Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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