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July 28, 2004

Another fascinating Blakely front

Part of what makes Blakely such a big deal is that there seems to be no limit to the arenas and settings in which Blakely issues might arise. We get more evidence of this fact from California today, where in People v. Sykes, a California Court of Appeal had to confront a defendant's claim that, under Blakely, "he was entitled to a jury trial as to those factors which determine whether consecutive sentences may be imposed [because an applicable statute] grants trial courts the authority to impose consecutive sentences" in certain situations. In other words, the defendant in Sykes argued under California law "that the United States Supreme Court’s holding in Blakely requires that a jury, not a judge, find whether the factors which warrant consecutive sentencing are present."

The Court of Appeal ultimately rejects the defendant's claim, saying:

Neither Blakely nor Apprendi purport to create a jury trial right to the determination as to whether to impose consecutive sentences. Both Blakely and Apprendi involve a conviction for a single count. The historical and jurisprudential basis for the Blakely and Apprendi holdings did not involve consecutive sentencing.... [T]he consecutive sentencing decision can only be made once the accused has been found beyond a reasonable doubt to have committed two or more offenses—this fully complies with the Sixth Amendment jury trial and Fourteenth Amendment due process clause rights. Those facts which affect the appropriate sentence within the range of potential terms of incarceration for each offense are subject to Blakely and Apprendi; this constitutional principle does not extend to whether the sentences for charges which have been found to be true beyond a reasonable doubt shall be served consecutively.

Though I am not an expert on California law, these conclusions certainly seem debatable. And, notably, we now have word that these conclusions will be debated by the California Supreme Court, which today granted review of just this issue. Specifically, in People v. Black, the California Supreme Court has now asked the parties to brief the following questions:

(1) What effect does Blakely v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531 have on the validity of defendant's upper term sentence? (2) What effect does Blakely have on the trial court's imposition of consecutive sentences?

July 28, 2004 at 06:05 PM | Permalink

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» http://www.crimblawg.com/2004/08/last_week_in_bl.html from Criminal Appeal
Last Week in Blakely, California Style. This has all been reported here and there already, but here's what's up in California: * Cal. Supreme Court granted review in People v. Black, no. S126182, on the questions of (1) What effect [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 3, 2004 10:04:18 AM

» http://www.crimblawg.com/2004/08/last_week_in_bl.html from Criminal Appeal
Last Week in Blakely, California Style. This has all been reported here and there already, but here's what's up in California: * Cal. Supreme Court granted review in People v. Black, no. S126182, on the questions of (1) What effect [Read More]

Tracked on Aug 3, 2004 12:00:39 PM

Comments


Also curious whether Blakely might provide right to jury trial and proof BRD on whether offense extended beyond date of a guidelines amendment. Debatale whether a fact made necessary to a greater sentence by virtue of the ex post facto clause can be understood as an element of an offense (although given the history of implied elements like an interstate commerce nexus, I dont see why not), but the one book rule has been incorporated into the guidelines itself, no?
Other stealth Blakely issues in the guidelines could include factual issues raised by 3D1.2(d), 5G1.3(a), and 1B1.3 (ie, what if the defendant admits the conduct but doesnt admit it was "relevant?), as well of course as a host of criminal history issues that are not, strictly speaking, the fact of a prior conviction. I guess its easier to conclude that the guidelines as a whole or unconstitutional than to engage in any real consideration of these issues or simplification of the Guidelines

Posted by: Joel Page | Jul 31, 2004 11:36:02 PM

Debatale whether a fact made necessary to a greater sentence by virtue of the ex post facto clause can be understood as an element of an offense (although given the history of implied elements like an interstate commerce nexus

Posted by: Robe de Soirée 2013 | Dec 14, 2012 12:49:42 AM

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