Sunday, July 18, 2004

Federal case developments in Pennsylvania

There are two new federal cases out of Pennsylvania of note.
 
US v. Harris, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13290 (No. 03-244-03)
 
This case is from the Western District of Pennsylvania. Judge Arthur J. Schwab appears to have presided over the first Blakely waiver, or at least the first one that has been published that I know of.
 
There are two key passages in the opinion:
Thus this Court finds that the federal sentencing guidelines are an unseverable and unconstitutional whole.

But that conclusion never really came into play because...
Thus, although this Court has declared the United States Sentencing Guidelines unconstitutional under Blakely, the sentence in this case ultimately was crafted under the guidelines, by agreement of the parties.

 
US v. Leach, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13291 (No. 02-172-14)
 
This case comes from the Eastern District, Judge Stewart Dalzell was presiding.
 
The opinion states:
Under the teaching of Blakely and Booker, we therefore will make no enhancement to Leach's sentence that he has not, by his admission, already agreed to.
The result is interesting: a 188 month term, both assuming the guidelines are constitutional and assuming they are not.

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