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November 20, 2005

Significant Minnesota Blakely opinion

Last week, the recent Minnesota Supreme Court issued an interesting and important ruling in State v. Barker, No. A04-1453 (Minn. Nov. 17, 2005) (available here).  Previously discussed here following a March ruling by the state Court of Appeals, Barker raised the issue of whether the US Supreme Court's Harris decision, which allows for judicial fact-finding in support of mandatory minimums, might permit such fact-finding when the mandatory minimum sentence is greater than the presumptive guideline sentence. 

The Minnesota Supreme Court decision in Barker reaffirms that imposition of a higher "mandatory minimum sentence" sentence still violates Blakely when based on facts not found by a jury.  (In other words, Blakely trumps Harris when they are in tension.)  The Barker case also covers some important ground concerning the meaning of what it calls "the Blakely admission exception."

November 20, 2005 at 02:01 PM | Permalink


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