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November 14, 2004

Responding to Blakely in North Carolina

This article in the New Bern Sun Journal from North Carolina reports that a subcommittee of the North Carolina Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission "has recommended that aggravating factors and some issues related to prior records be submitted to a jury to determine if they exist."

In the article, John Madler, the associate director of the Commission, highlighted why this recommended modification of N.C. sentencing practice, and more generally "the Blakely earthquake," are not that disruptive in North Carolina:

The change would likely affect a comparatively small number of cases, he said. "Roughly 7 percent of the people who go to prison have an aggravated sentence," Madler said....

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling would likely have less of an effect in North Carolina than in some other states because factors such as previous records are already taken into account in the law and are not left up to a judge to decide, Madler said.

"It's not that big of a deal in North Carolina, compared to other states," Madler said. "It's just a piece of our process, rather than a whole structure change."

November 14, 2004 at 08:26 AM | Permalink

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Not that big of a deal? Based on N.C. Sentencing and Policy Advisory Commission data, the seven percent of people who received an aggravated sentence in FY 2003 (out of 28,744 total convictions) amounts to more than than 2,000 aggravated sentences. (Student, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law)

Posted by: Amy Martin | Nov 27, 2004 10:59:46 PM

I was convicted in 1997 in Vermont for 18usc922"j", and was enhanced 12 levels at the time of sentencing due to "relevent conduct" After careful research, you'll find that a 4 level enhancement was for "guns for drugs swap", in which the only evidence they had was testimony from a convicted felone who admitted that he lied on a state affidavide and only came forward with the "real truth" when federal atthorities approached him. he also admit. that he was appraised by the government, and wouldn't be charged due to his action in court. I appealed, and the 2nd circuit said that they cannot intervene on a circuit court judges decision is creatable, even though he openly admitted he lied about the same charge before, Does Blackley affect me now that I served the sentence, as I still have 3 years of supervisedf release???

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