November 28, 2004
More powerful coverage of Wisconsin's "Truth in Sentencing"
Lots more great articles to read this weekend in the on-going series by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel under the banner "Locked In: The Price Of Truth In Sentencing." (The first set of article are linked here, and the already significant impact of the series is detailed here.)
The third of the four main articles in the series is available here; entitled "Once released, inmates find little help," this article highlights the many challenges of community re-entry for prisoners upon being released from custody. And the Sentinel again runs with the main series this terrific set of companion pieces:
- This article, entitled "Touched by crime, parents work to break cycle," highlights efforts by parents to help their children escape a cycle of repeated criminality.
- This article, entitled "Survive this and get out of prison," provides a brief account of Wisconsin's boot camps.
- This editorial, entitled simply "Reform truth in sentencing," sets forth a powerful and compelling list of state law reforms that the paper says should be made by Governor Jim Doyle and the Legislature to improve the state of sentencing and corrections in Wisconsin.
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.