Thursday, August 05, 2004

Blakely in the states

A reader has written in to direct my attention to an order issued today from the California Courts of Appeals, 5th District. The court's order, reproduced below, follows the lead of other courts which are dodging Blakely issues for now (most recently noted here). You can see an official copy of the order here.

It ordered:

Effective August 3, 2004, this court will no longer compensate appointed counsel for research or briefing directed to any issue presented by Blakely v. Washington (2004) __ U.S. __, [124 S.Ct. 2531, __ L.Ed.2d __], pending opinions by the California Supreme Court in People v. Towne (review granted Jul. 14, 2004, S125677), and People v. Black (review granted Jul. 28, 2004, S126182).

However, if counsel or appellant wishes to raise a Blakely issue in any case pending before this court, he or she may file a letter stating with precision the Blakely issue[s] he or she wishes to raise on the appellant's behalf and this court will deem such issue[s] raised, thereby preserving the appellant's ability to seek review of the issue[s] in the California Supreme Court. The failure to identify an issue by a letter will operate as a waiver. The People, through the Attorney General, need not file any response to such a letter statement and the court will deem the stated issue[s] to be opposed by the People.

The Court may request further briefing in any case and will reevaluate this order after the California Supreme Court rules in Towne and Black.

This order does not apply to any pending appeal in which this court has ordered or authorized, on or before August 2, 2004, specific briefing on a Blakely issue.

The purpose of this order is to ensure that the subject issues will be raised and preserved for review in an efficient manner.

Dated: August 2, 2004

DIBIASO, ACTING P.J.

The Vera Institute has done some good work focusing on Blakely's impact on the states. Jon Wool and Don Stemen have put together a report entitled, "Aggravated Sentencing: Blakely v. Washington — Practical Implications for State Sentencing Systems."


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