As a friend-of-the-court, the ACLU-NJ argued that Kareem Tillery received an unfair sentence. Specifically, the ACLU-NJ argued that the sentencing court should not have been allowed to consider conduct for which Mr. Tillery was charged, but on which a jury did not convict him, as a basis for increasing his sentence. Prosecutors charged Mr. Tillery with selling guns on several occasions. The jury convicted him of one such sale; it could not reach a unanimous verdict on the others. At sentencing, the judge gave him the maximum allowable sentence, finding that he believed Mr. Tillery had committed all the offenses. Although federal court allows the use of such non-convicted conduct, the ACLU-NJ argued that New Jersey state courts should not. The ACLU-NJ contended that had the court not considered those improper factors, it could not have justified such an extreme sentence.
The case was argued in the New Jersey Supreme Court on November 27, 2018.
- Tillery: Amicus Brief (118 KB pdf)