Muni-mail – No more punishment after sentence is over – State v. Schubert

10/22/12 – 3:45 pm – This morning, in a 5-2 decision, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that once an illegal criminal sentence has been completely served, the defendant may not be re-setenced to any additional punishment, even to correct the illegal aspect of the sentence under both state and federal double jeopardy principles. Writing for the Court, Judge Wefing held that a number of courts have found that a judge may correct an illegal sentence at any time, even though the imposition of a lawful term involves an increase in a defendant’s aggregate sentence. That principle, however, is not unlimited. Although an illegal sentence that has not been completely served may be corrected at any time without impinging upon double-jeopardy principles, the “at any time” phrase does not authorize an enlargement of the punishment after the sentence imposed had been satisfied.

You can link to today’s decision in State v. Schubert at:

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/supreme/A1511StatevJosephSchubertJr.pdf

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