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November 28, 2004

Interesting Blakely decisions from Maine

I recently came across two interesting federal Blakely rulings coming from the District of Maine (home, of course, of Fanfan).  These rulings reveal that cases are still moving along in one federal district.  However, a footnote in the Thomas opinion (discussed below) notes that, "although two judges in this district have concluded that the Blakely rationale reaches the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, this intra-district view is not unanimous."

In US v. Morehouse, 2004 WL 2668347 (D. Me. Nov. 22, 2004), District Judge Woodcock held that, because of Blakely, he could "not upwardly depart from guideline sentence range based on wrongful convictions of others for crimes defendant had committed," but he still could "consider those wrongful convictions in determining the sentence within the guideline range."

In Thomas v. US, 2004 WL 2674362 (D. Me. Nov. 19, 2004), Magistrate Judge Kravchuk recommends denying a defendant's federal habeas petition over claims that he was "sentenced under unconstitutional sentencing guidelines and his attorney was ineffective because he did not raise a challenge to the constitutionality of the guidelines."  The recommendation relies heavily on existing First Circuit holdings that Blakely has not (yet) clearly rendered the federal guidelines unconstitutional.

November 28, 2004 at 07:50 AM | Permalink

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