Ray v. United States

481 U. S. 736

May 18, 1987

Ray was convicted on two counts of cocaine possession. He was sentenced to seven years in prison on each count, but those sentences would be served simultaneously – he would only be in prison for seven years rather than fourteen. Ray challenged these convictions. The Court of Appeals found one conviction valid, and declined to address the other, finding its validity irrelevant in light of the simultaneous time in prison.

Unanimously, the Supreme Court reversed in a per curiam opinion. In addition to the prison time, Ray had to pay a nominal fine for both convictions. Due to that tiny fine, the second conviction was thus not completely irrelevant and needed to be addressed. The case was remanded accordingly.


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