November 1, 2004
Good enough for Blakely purposes
Last month in this post, I noted state appellate decisions which sought to minimize the impact of Blakely by finding ways to affirm previously-imposed sentences even when Blakely issues were implicated. A number of federal circuit courts have, unsurprisingly, been making similar efforts, as evidenced by decisions from the coasts late last week.
I previously noted here the Ninth Circuit's decision in US v. Mayfield, 2004 WL 2415039 (9th Cir. Oct. 29, 2004), affirming a lengthy sentence in a drug case despite the imposition of a two-level enhancement by the sentencing judge pre-Blakely. A different basis for affirmance post-Blakely can be found in the Second Circuit's decision in US v. Monsalve, 2004 WL 2417800 (2d Cir. Oct. 29, 2004), which held that the "constitutional requirement of a sentence based solely on facts admitted by the defendant set forth in Blakely has been satisfied" when the defendant admitted in her plea agreement the drug quantity and type involved in her offense. The case becomes noteworthy because the Second Circuit goes on to explain:
Defendant's denial of knowing drug type or quantity during her plea colloquy does not negate the admissions Defendant made in her plea. Indeed, sentencing based on such conflicting statements has long been held constitutional, as a criminal defendant may enter a guilty plea and receive a sentence even while maintaining her innocence. North Carolina v. Alford, 400 U.S. 25, 37-38 (1970) (an express admission of guilt, in addition to a properly accepted guilty plea, "is not a constitutional requisite to the imposition of criminal penalty"). Therefore, an admission in a plea agreement, even if later controverted in a plea colloquy, satisfies the constitutional requirements set forth in Blakely.
November 1, 2004 at 05:33 PM | Permalink
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This is why the Office of the Federal Public Defender, Northern District of Texas, addressed the issue of admissions in an amicus for Booker and Fanfan instead of waiting until later. Perhaps the Court will recognize this error when it addresses Booker and Fanfan. Hopefully, the attorneys for these cases preserved the issue and argue it on appeal.
Posted by: doug morris | Nov 1, 2004 6:26:31 PM