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January 21, 2005

Dynamic state Blakely development

In honor of the now on-going fantastic Columbia Law School conference on state sentencing (which is being blogged here), I will interupt all the federal Booker excitement with a number of very interesting state Blakely stories.

  • From Arkansas, I have received a copy of a bill filled in the legisture denominated "An Act to Clarify That the Sentencing Guidelines of the State of Arkansas Are Entirely Voluntary; and for Other Purposes."  As the title suggests, the Arkansas sentencing guidelines have long been understood to be voluntary, but this bill wants to leave nothing in doubt after Booker.  Here is the concluding paragraph of the bill which can be downloaded below:

It is found and determined by the General Assembly of the State of Arkansas that the United States Supreme Court has held that the federal sentencing guidelines are unconstitutional; that the voluntary presumptive standards of the State of Arkansas may be challenged as unconstitutional; and that this act is immediately necessary in order to clarify that the sentencing guidelines are merely advisory.

Download arkansas_bill.pdf

  • From Indiana, the blog INCourts has here an interesting report on a section of the state Chief Justice's State of the Judiciary address entitled, "Rebuilding the American Jury."  As noted in the post, the Indiana Supreme Court has been sitting on two big Blakely cases since November, and thus INCourts has good reason to spend time reading Hoosier tea leaves.

  • From New Jersey,it is now official that the Supreme Court of New Jersey will hear appeals from three major Appellate Division Apprendi and/or Blakely rulings.  An expedited briefing schedule has been set and oral argument in the cases will be heard on March 1st, 2005.  As detailed in this prior post, the state was eager for Supreme Court review because, according to its brief, "uncertainty regarding the effect, if any, of the Blakely opinion on [New Jersey's] ordinary term sentencing system has had a paralyzing effect on sentencing judges, defense attorneys, and prosecutors."

January 21, 2005 at 03:00 PM | Permalink


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Thanks for the information.

Posted by: Jennifer | Jan 27, 2005 5:27:17 PM

Thankyou for posting all of this information. I am in Florida, while my fiance is in Arkansa currently serving a life w/o parole sentence for manufacturing meth. There were no victims in his case, no drugs ceased, and witnesses that the eveidence found was not his, and that he was not aware of them. We have been through the apeals and the habius process without success. We are now working on a clemency application. If you, or anyone that has any information that may help us, please email me. Thankyou

Posted by: Shari Hector | Apr 11, 2005 11:28:42 AM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB