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February 5, 2005

Tennessee "Blakely fix" news

This effective article details that the task force created in Tennessee to assess and repond to Blakely (background here and here) will present a proposal to give judges, not juries, more sentencing authority under Tennessee law:

The panel rejected a solution favored by the state's District Public Defenders Conference that would have created a system where juries decide factors that could be used to increase a defendant's sentence. 

Instead, the group favored a plan that would give judges greater freedom to decide what punishment a defendant deserves.  That plan is popular among prosecutors and judges.

The newspaper article provides terrific background on the current state and recent history of Tennessee's sentencing laws.  It also notes the internal controversy over the task force's ultimate proposal:

[I]t was not a decision that sat well with all members of the task force, made up of lawyers, professors, prosecutors, judges and state officials.  Professor Donald Hall made it clear he preferred to let juries rule on enhancement factors, as did a few others on the panel.  There were other concerns voiced by task force members. The proposal still requires judges to decide various sentencing factors.

February 5, 2005 at 09:45 AM | Permalink

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May I post your link to a website I'm creating? It is Families for Fairness, a non-profit organization advocating fairness in sex offender legislation and pubic opinion. I am the mother of a young man convicted of a sex crime which he committed at age 18. He attempted sexual intercourse with an underage girl, both drinking, both inexperienced. He is an Eagle Scout, honor student, varsity athlete, pianist; turned himself in months later, on his own, with no attorney present. Police knew nothing about it and there was no evidence after this long. Mandatory minimum gave him 10 years, no parole, lifelong registry. The D.A. erred and knows it now. He later wrote the governor, as did the judge, supporting clemency in this unusual Tennessee case, but it was denied.

Posted by: Lynn | Jun 14, 2005 12:15:41 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