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December 8, 2004

Blakely-ization plans in North Carolina

Following up on this post about state Blakely developments, a lawyer was kind enough to forward to me a recommendation to the North Carolina legislature from the NC Sentencing Commission's Blakely Subcommittee concerning how the state ought to respond to Blakely.  You can download the two-page "draft final report" below, and I was amazed and impressed with how easy the report makes Blakely-ization sound.

Here's how the proposed North Carolina Blakely reforms were summarized for me:

The recommendation is to keep the three range grid in place (there had been talk of blending the aggravated range and presumptive range into one to solve the problem).  Aggravators set out in the statute are incorporated by reference into indictments, but "nonstatutory aggravators" must be pled. 

A separate jury phase is allowed but not mandated.  It would be up to the judge whether to bifurcate the guilt/innocence and sentencing stage. 

An amendment to the recommendation, not included in the information provided, requires the state to give the defense notice ten days before trial of the aggravators that the state contends exist.

I have tried cases for thirty years. All in all, I think this will be workable.

Download nc_sent_commission_proposals.doc

December 8, 2004 at 10:56 AM | Permalink

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