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July 17, 2004

Blakely developments in Arizona

A few recent news articles suggest that Arizona will be an interesting state to watch for Blakely developments. First, this article highlights that in Arizona, defense attorneys "find themselves in rare agreement with prosecutors on one issue: there's no need for the Legislature to rush to change state law in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that may affect the way Arizona sentences criminals." I highly recommend reading this entire article, which is rich with information about coping efforts and plans for Arizona state sentencing. Among the interesting tidbits:

Maricopa County Public Defender James Haas said the criminal justice system's response to the ruling so far varies, with some counties using plea agreements that have defendants waive the need for jury findings, some reluctance by judges to impose sentences beyond the presumptive terms and one judge reportedly declaring that the ruling doesn't apply to Arizona.

Also, there is apparently a healthy collaborative spirit as the system is thinking about long-term fixes:
[D]efense attorneys are reaching out to prosecutors, scheduling informal meetings in coming weeks. "We may not agree on what we're going to do but at least we ought to talk together."... However, it's likely that numerous sentencing issues stemming from the ruling will still have to be fought out in court - no matter what the Legislature does in response, Haas said. "Every time you talk to people you come up with new issues."

And to provide a ground level view of post-Blakely life in Arizona, here is an article describing Blakely's impact on a manslaughter prosecution of Lee Parulski. Here's an interesting snipit:

During Thursday's hearing, Jim Coil, the prosecutor, said that he offered three options to Mike Rollins, Parulski's attorney, after the Blakely ruling. Coil said Parulski could waive his Blakely rights; a new plea agreement in which Parulski would plead guilty to second-degree murder could be signed; or a jury could be called. Rollins said he rejected the waiver or a new plea agreement. He said calling a jury would be acceptable. However, there is no procedural mechanism under Arizona law to call a jury in a case involving a plea agrement.

July 17, 2004 at 01:46 PM | Permalink

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Comments

In NY, where I am an appellate prosecutor, we face an Apprendi/Ring/Blakely challenge to our discretionary persistent felony offender scheme. Though NY has no procedural mechanism to do it, we have taken the position that, in the event the sentencing court believes that Apprendi etal renders the scheme unconstitutional, a jury should be empaneled for sentencing. In making this argument, we rely on an old NY Court of Appeals case -- People v Huntley -- in which the NY Court of Appeals was faced with the question of what to do after the Supreme Court had held that the question of admissibility of a a confession had to be decided in the first instance by a judge at a pre-trial hearing. Acknowledging no procedural mechanism for such a hearing, the court directed that such hearings be held and asked the legislature to amend the relevant criminal procedure rules to provide for a hearing.

Posted by: Morrie Kleinbart | Jul 21, 2004 5:01:42 PM

Though NY has no procedural mechanism to do it, we have taken the position that, in the event the sentencing court believes that Apprendi etal renders the scheme unconstitutional, a jury should be empaneled for sentencing.

Posted by: Robe de Soirée 2013 | Dec 12, 2012 10:46:15 PM

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