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October 30, 2004

The Ninth Circuit's nimble Blakely dodge

In US v. Mayfield, 2004 WL 2415039 (9th Cir. Oct. 29, 2004), the Ninth Circuit was able to affirm a lengthy sentence in a drug case even though a two-level sentencing enhancement was made by the judge because defendant Mayfield possessed a firearm:

Here, Mayfield was sentenced to 262 months. Without the two-level upward adjustment for the firearm, the applicable sentencing range would have been 210-262 months, based on a total offense level of 36 and a criminal history category of II. Mayfield's sentence of 262 months falls within the upper-most part of this range. Therefore, the district court did not violate the principles of Blakely because the court could have imposed a 262-month sentence solely on the basis of the facts reflected by the jury's verdict. Whether the court actually would have sentenced Mayfield to a term of imprisonment of 262 months in the absence of the two-point enhancement is unknown. Nonetheless, because the sentence imposed by the district court was within the applicable Guidelines sentencing range under the facts found by the jury, the 262-month sentence imposed by the court does not offend the Sixth Amendment as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Blakely, or by our court in Ameline.

October 30, 2004 at 01:58 AM | Permalink

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