Monday, December 13, 2004

I've run out of clever blog posts to communicate that we still don't have a Booker and Fanfan decision

At least that appears to be the case, based on reports from the SCOTUS blog. This means we have to wait until the new year for a decision. Jan. 11th is the next possible date for an opinion. Wow.

How much longer can we wait for the Blakley or Booker/Fanfan opinion. Perhaps some new appointees should be nominated and confirmed after the inauguration.
I believe the lawyers and "smart" people have twisted what started out to be that people lacked adequate information to "knowingly" decide to plead guilty.
The law prior to "Blakely" had allowed the kinds of information known as "relevant conduct" to be used to determine sentences and further, the government was under no obligation to put you on notice of their plans to use it.
They do not under Rule 16 and the general discovery order have to tell us who their witnesses are or the substance of what their testimony will be. Frequently this means that the first time you hear evidence of "relevant conduct" is at trial or worse at a sentencing hearing.
It now requires them to set out with specificity what they are seeking as relevant drug quantities and to either have a jury agree with that quantity beyond a reasonable doubt or the defendant has to admit it at the time of plea.
Is to over analize the problem and see that it is not fair and look at it as "is the book written wrong" I believe we need a morals check with the peers that we are to believe and put our trust into.
A few more words on a general order of discovery or plea agreement is all, but they will use the oportunity to make it worse and send down alot more rules for the laws when it was them that could not follow the rules to the laws to begain with by having good morals. They do not want to let people out of jail (That would be bad) so they have to find an answer to fix the rules starting now so every drug charge that had relevant conduct does not go into appeals court. (to many). That would also admit that they made a misstake (another morals problem).
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