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January 26, 2005

Intriguing post-Booker state Blakely realities

Interestingly, and perhaps not surprisingly, there has been a lot of post-Booker state Blakely activity, but it appears that the Booker ruling has not provided much help to states in sorting through Blakely issues.  I now see on-line over 75 state Blakely decisions in just the two weeks since Booker was handed down, but only a few unpublished cases from California have even mentioned Booker. (And this is despite the fact that there have recently been major intermediate court Blakely rulings in Arizona, California, Indiana, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington.)

Of course, as detailed in a California memo linked here, state actors may still be drawing some guidance from Booker even if though the ruling is not appearing in state court decisions.  Indeed, I have heard reports that some of the state supreme courts now considering Blakely cases have asked for supplemental briefing on Booker

In addition, as detailed here, at least one state (Arkansas) was prompted by Booker to consider tweaking its sentencing laws to try to avoid constitutional problems.  However, this Arkansas report about legislative development indicates that "the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday defeated House Bill 1176 by Rep. Timothy Hutchinson, R-Lowell, that would have made the state's sentencing guidelines voluntary."

Relatedly, this week there is this news from Alaska concerning that state's proposed Blakely fix.  According to the article, the proposed fix, which in practice seems likely to increase sentences for certain offenders, is moving swiftly through the Alaska legislature.

January 26, 2005 at 02:54 AM | Permalink

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