Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Blakely Updates

As one of my classmates reminds me, the last time I updated the blog was 4:30 yesterday. So, here's some fresh (and not so fresh) news:

News Stories has an article discussing U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell’s decision to sentence a drug dealer to a decidedly lighter sentence due to Blakely. has an article on the Martha Stewart sentencing, available here.

More 7th Circuit news is available here - this article discusses a fourth sentencing option adopted by U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan: wait.

Read about Blakely developments in the state of Tennessee here.

From the Deseret News: Sentencing angst deepens

Also from Desert: Former convict gets 5-year term for illegally possessing firearms. In this case the judge sentenced the defendant to the top of the base guideline range after finding that Blakely prohibited his finding any enhancements.

The NYT has several stories:
High Court Sentence Views Flummox Judges

Justices' Sentencing Ruling May Have Model in Kansas

Stewart Sentence Could Mean Prison Time

Slate's Jurisprudence: High Court's Sentencing Chaos (audio)
NPR's Madeleine Brand talks with Slate legal analyst Dahlia Lithwick about a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that challenges established sentencing guidelines for several states and the federal judiciary. The ruling, Lithwick says, is causing judicial chaos.

Case Developments

From the "nice try" files, the 7th Circuit rejects a Blakely appeal:

Before Posner, Easterbrook and Kanne:

Just before oral argument, Bahena filed a supplemental brief contending that Blakely v. Washington, No. 02-1632 (U.S. June 24, 2004), implies that the Sentencing Guidelines violate the sixth amendment by withholding critical decisions from the jury. Bahena, who pleaded guilty, is not well situated to say that he has been deprived of his right to a jury. Moreover, his argument does not depend at all on Blakely. He does not contend, as Blakely did, that his sentence was increased by virtue of a fact neither admitted by the defendant nor submitted to a jury for decision. A quantity of drugs was alleged in this indictment, and Bahena pleaded guilty to the charge. Ever since Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466, 147 L. Ed. 2d 435 (2000), [*4] we have insisted that indictments allege, and prosecutors be prepared to prove beyond a reasonable doubt, the quantities of drugs that determine statutory maximum sentences. See United States v. Nance, 236 F.3d 820 (7th Cir. 2000). Five kilograms, which this indictment alleged, raises the maximum lawful sentence to life imprisonment. 21 U.S.C. § 841(b)(1)(A)(ii). The written plea agreement says that the prosecutor and Bahena agree that the actual quantity of cocaine Bahena possessed was 35 kilograms. That admission suffices under Blakely to support a sentence.

Some excellent posts from Sentencing Law and Policy:

Thoughts and holdings on Blakely retroactivity

Revised King-Klien Beyond Blakely

What the....? (aka The 9th Circuit mumbles)

A means for Supreme Court (re)consideration

Another helpful (future FSR) resource

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