Brief filed: 10/05/2020
Georgiou v. United States
United States Supreme Court; Case No. 20-280
In Honeycutt v. United States, the Supreme Court held that the government may not impose a forfeiture order against a criminal defendant on the basis of joint and several liability, overturning decades of precedent to the contrary. Before Honeycutt, many forfeiture orders were imposed on defendants based on their joint and several liability. When habeas relief is unavailable, these defendants should be able to obtain relief through an extraordinary writ, such as the writ of coram nobis or audita querela, for three reasons. First, these forfeiture orders were issued without lawful authority and therefore violate due process. Second, these forfeiture orders exceed what Congress has deemed permissible and therefore violate the Eighth Amendment. And third, allowing these forfeiture orders to stand in light of these due process and Eighth Amendment violations is not in the public interest.
Jeffrey T. Green and Christopher S. Ross, Sidley Austin LLP, Washington, DC; David Porter, NACDL, Washington, DC.