Transcript of the Argument on Joint and Several Liability in Honeycutt

The Supreme Court heard argument on March 29, 2017 in Honeycutt v. United States, the case in which the Court will decide whether there is statutory authority to hold criminal defendants jointly and severally liable for the forfeiture of the proceeds of their offense, regardless of how much or how little each defendant personally obtained.   The case will resolve a split in the circuits on that point: all circuits but one have upheld joint and several liability, at least to the extent the proceeds are foreseeable to a particular defendant, and as long as the defendant’s role in the offense was no so minor that such liability would  violate the Excessive Fines Clause of the Eighth Amendment.  The District of Columbia Circuit takes the contrary view, holding that there is no statutory authority for joint and several liability under any circumstances.

The transcript of the oral argument reveals no clear indication of how the Court will resolve this issue.

Transcript of Honeycutt Argument