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November 8, 2004

In a New York state of mind

With thanks to an informed New York reader, I can report on some interesting Blakely/Apprendi Big Apple developments. First, the reader reminds me about People v. Murray, 2004 NY Slip Op 24388 (Sup. Ct. Bronx County Oct. 15, 2004), the first reported NY Blakely decision noted previously here.  In Murray, a trial court concluded that sentencing a defendant to consecutive terms did not raise Apprendi problems even though "some would argue that [Blakely] now requires that the determination as to whether a certain statutory basis for consecutive sentences [PL 70.25 (2)] has been established must be submitted to the jury because it is a factual question."

More recently, in People v. West, 2004 NY Slip Op 07905 (N.Y. App. Div. 1st Dept. Nov. 4, 2004), the Appellate Division, in fairly summary fashion, reversed a trial court's ruling that a defendant's sentence as a persistent felony offender was unconstitutional.  Here's the heart of the appellate court's analysis:

In People v Rosen (96 NY2d 329 [2001], cert denied 534 US 899 [2001]), the Court of Appeals made an authoritative interpretation of the state statutory scheme regarding persistent felony offenders, finding the statutes in question constitutional. We need not decide whether Rosen conflicts with Ring v Arizona (536 US 584 [2002]), because the particular facts upon which the sentencing court appeared to have based its determination were all permissible under Apprendi, in that they constituted facts found by the jury, defendant's prior convictions and matters of record. Accordingly, defendant's sentence did not violate Apprendi v New Jersey (530 US 466 [2000]).

November 8, 2004 at 06:04 PM | Permalink


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