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September 7, 2004

Mile High Blakely

Though I have note yet seen a lower court opinion from Colorado grappling with Blakely's meaning for that state, this Denver Post article long ago blared in its headline that the Blakely "Ruling Could Nullify Sentences in Colorado." And now a thoughtful reader reports that the Colorado Supreme Court today announced its intention to examine whether Colorado's sentencing scheme can survive Blakely in the case of Lopez v. Colorado, No. 04SC150. According to the e-mail I received:

This case on which it granted certiorari deals with the mandatory aggravating factors of the defendant's being on parole, in prison, or an escapee from prison at the time of the crime. (In Colorado, the law sets a "presumptive sentencing range." The trial court may sentence the defendant to twice the maximum of this range if the court finds mandatory aggravating facts listed in the statute, or the court, in its discretion, finds other "extraordinary aggravating circumstances" that are not listed in the statute.)

While I ponder whether it is funny to describe the Colorado Supreme Court as the (Mile) High Court, you can read below the text of the court's order:
Whether Blakely v. Washington, 541 U.S. __, 124 S. Ct. 2531 (June 24, 2004), and Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000) prohibit the aggravation of petitioner's sentence because the statutory enhancement factors, defined in section 18-1-105(9)(a)(II) and section 18-1-105(9)(a)(V), were never charged in an information nor pled to by petitioner.

September 7, 2004 at 07:34 PM | Permalink

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