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July 9, 2004

More news from the front lines

Peter Goldberger, who has been a font of Blakely-related information, conveyed to me the following report from NY attorney James E. Long about another decision finding the Federal Sentencing Guidelines unconstitutional:

The Hon. Collen McMahon [of the Southern District of New York] ruled in my case today that the Blakely decision renders the Federal Guidelines unconstitutional. She adopted the rational of Judge Cassell in the Croxford decision. She did this despite the fact that I had a plea agreement admitting most of the enhancements (multiple guns, stolen gun). She stated that there should not be a pre-Blakely guideline and post-Blakely non guidelines. Client went from 37 months to 15 months. I took the approach ... that the advice in entering the plea agreement that the standard was preponderance was bad advice and therefore not a knowing and intelligent waiver. She seemed disposed to go along with that ... and then [said] the guidelines are unconstitutional for all and proceeded to fashion her own sentence making reference to how she could still consider all of the relevant facts and offender characteristics. She added that she would downward depart (which I could not do because of the plea agreement) based on family circumstances and went to 15 months and 3 year post release supervision.

In addition, in the shortest decision I've seen discussing Blakely, US District Judge Rya Zobel of the District of Massachusetts in US v. Mikutowicz, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12516 (July 7, 2004), rejected a motion for re-sentencing because the defendant's "notice of appeal has effectively deprived this Court of jurisdiction." Along the way, however, the judge stated "since the sentence is based in part on facts determined by the Court, it may well be illegal".

And, finally, from a more traditional news source, here's an article from Connecticut discussing some high-profile sentences -- those given to Philip Giordano, the former mayor of Waterbury, who is serving 37 years for sexually abusing two preteen girls and to Joe Ganim, the former mayor of Bridgeport, who is serving nine years for corruption -- which may be impacted by Blakely.

July 9, 2004 at 07:12 AM | Permalink

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