New caselaw - securities fraud, "two strikes" for sex offenders

[JURIST] Securities and Exchange Commission v. Berger [PDF opinion] (February 27, US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals [official website]). The Court upheld a $20 million securities fraud judgment against a fugitive former hedge fund manager who skipped his criminal sentencing in 2002, saying that the trial court had jurisdiction over the fund governed by the laws of the British Virgin islands: "[W]hile operating entirely from New York, Berger executed a massive fraud upon hundreds of investors involving transactions on United States exchanges. Accordingly, the District Court properly determined that it had subject matter jurisdiction...".

Wisconsin v. Radke [opinion] (February 26, Wisconsin Supreme Court [official website]). The Court upheld the constitutionality of a Wisconsin "two strikes" law requiring automatic life sentences for persons convicted twice of sexually assaulting children: "The issue in this case is whether there is a rational basis to justify mandating the penalty of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole under the circumstances of a second conviction of a child sexual assault when the penalty is life imprisonment with the possibility of parole under the circumstances of a second conviction of a Class A homicide offense.... The "two strikes" law focuses on crimes of sexual conduct that victimize children committed by people who have already been convicted of a similar crime. It represents a legislative determination that offenders convicted under these particular circumstances pose a unique threat to society and must therefore face the maximum penalty allowable under Wisconsin law. The "three strikes" law, in contrast, encompasses a wider swath of criminal conduct. It expresses a legislative determination that offenders who commit two of these crimes do not pose the same type of unique threat as persistent repeaters under the "two strikes" law. The legislature has determined that there is something especially troublesome about the threat posed by a repeat child sex offender that does not arise when a person is convicted of a child sex offense after a prior conviction for a different serious felony that does not involve sexual conduct targeting a minor."



 

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