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January 26, 2005

Consequential state sentencing rulings from each coast

Though I am still awaiting major rulings from state supreme courts on Blakely issues, in the meantime I can report on a few significant state supreme court rulings on other sentencing issues.

From California, as detailed in this LA Times article, a divided state supreme court has approved the review procedures being employed by the state's parole board which give particular focus to the gravity of the offender's crime.  The ruling in In re Dannenberg, S111029 (Cal. Jan. 24, 2005), can be accessed here and is the subject of critical commentary by TalkLeft here.

From Delaware, according to this AP story, "nearly 200 inmates serving time for murder, rape and kidnapping will be eligible for immediate release following a ruling by the Delaware Supreme Court that some life sentences should be considered 45-year terms."  The ruling in State v. Evans, No. 88K01678DI (Del. Nov. 23, 2005) (available here) was actually handed down two months ago, but this past week the state Supreme Court refused a bid for reconsideration.  The story is making news now because on Tuesday, according to the AP story, "the state House unanimously passed a bill declaring the ruling 'null and void,' although lawmakers acknowledged the measure may violate the separation of powers."

January 26, 2005 at 03:24 AM | Permalink


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