Thursday, September 23, 2004

Morning News

Marc Mauer, the assistant director of The Sentencing Project in Washington and the author of Race to Incarcerate, published an article entitled, "Outside View: Racing to incarcerate." The article discusses Blakely in the context of prison and sentencing reform. The article focuses on mandatory minimums towards the end.

"Blakely challenges can’t be waived," is the title of a Wisconsin Law Journal article. That's the rule in the 7th Circuit, at least. The article states, "The Supreme Court decision in Blakely v. Washington represented such a sea change in sentencing law that no defendant can be deemed to have waived a challenge to his sentence on Blakely grounds, the Seventh Circuit held on Sept. 14." The case discussed in the article is US v. Bette J. Pree, No. 03-1516.

From Arizona, a state grappling with some Blakely issues, there is a story entitled, "Impact of sentencing ruling seen in shooting case." Here's what is going on in Arizona, according to the article:

The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday issued an opinion explaining an earlier order that said Maricopa County prosecutors couldn't back out of a plea agreement with a woman in a shooting case. She wouldn't waive her right to jury findings otherwise needed before a judge could impose an aggravated sentence for a shooting.

However, the Court of Appeals three-judge panel also said the trial court can impanel a jury to consider whether facts existed that would allow the judge to impose an aggravated sentence.

Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards and his son Stephen, both convicted for racketeering and fraud involving the awarding of riverboat casino licenses, failed to persuade US District Judge Ralph Tyson that their sentences should be invalidated by Blakely. You can read more about the case here.

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