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December 23, 2004

Did Rowland sign a Blakely waiver?

As detailed in this AP article, and also as discussed here by White Collar Crime Prof Blog, former Connecticut Governor John Rowland pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to steal honest service, a felony that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.

The AP story details that Roward struck a plea deal with prosecutors, and reports that the federal sentencing "guidelines call for a sentence of 15 to 21 months in prison, the lawyers involved said."  That report has me wondering whether Rowland's plea deal includes some sort of Blakely waiver providing that he would be subject to this sentencing range no matter what the Supreme Court says about the fate of the federal guidelines in Booker and Fanfan.

The Rowland case will be interesting to keep an eye on because we should (I dearly hope) have a decision in Booker and Fanfan by the time of Rowland's March sentencing.  And, with a statutory sentencing maximum of five year for the count of conviction, but with Rowland likely able to claim that prison time is not need to serve the purposes of punishment, a post-Booker sentencing in this case could be really interesting.  And yet, it also seems possible that all the lawyers in this case have already thought through and planned for the various possible legal contingencies in the plea agreement.

If any readers know and can share more information or insights about the Rowland deal and its sentencing components, I would be grateful.

December 23, 2004 at 03:37 PM | Permalink

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