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Shaw v. United States
Brief of Amicus Curiae National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in Support of Petitioner and Urging Reversal.
Argument: The Court should reverse the court of appeals' decision and reinforce the principle that, no matter how culpable the defendant's behavior, a conviction may only be obtained under a statute that clearly encompasses the conduct at issue. In addition to the rules of statutory interpretation urged in petitioner's brief, the Court should interpret § 1344(1) in light of the principle that "unless Congress conveys its purpose clearly, it will not be deemed to have significantly changed the federal-state balance." To the extent ambiguity remains after the Court has interpreted the statute, "the tie must go to the defendant" under the rule of lenity.