August 1, 2005
Big Blakely day for New Jersey tomorrow
As detailed in this official notice, the Supreme Court of New Jersey at 10:00 am tomorrow will issue decisions in its three big Blakely cases, State v. Natale, State v. Abdullah, and State v. Franklin. The decisions being reviewed are described briefly and linked here, and additional background on Blakely in New Jersey can be found in prior posts here and here and here.
I have assembled in this prior post the major state Blakely rulings from other state supreme courts to date. I expect the rulings from New Jersey to be thoughtful and to reinforce my view that the dynamic realities of Blakely in the states is actually a more interesting sentencing story than what is going on with Booker in the federal system.
Terrific habeas debate over at Debate Club this week
This week over at Legal Affairs' Debate Club, the question is "How Important is Habeas?" The Debate Club is always interesting, and I especially enjoyed my own debate last year with Professor Stephanos Bibas on the question "Can the Court clean up its Blakely mess?" and the debate a few months ago between Professors Richard Bierschbach and Michael O'Hear addressing "Will An Apology Save you From Jail?" The habeas debate should be fascinating, in part because the participants are Ted Frank, Resident Fellow and Director of the American Enterprise Institute Liability Project, and David Bruck, Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Virginia Capital Case Clearinghouse at Washington and Lee University.
This week's important and timely debate topic is set up at Legal Affairs with this introduction:
Habeas corpus, through which a prisoner can challenge the authority of a prison to hold him, has long been considered a crucial tool for prisoners trying to have their sentences overturned. But since the 1996 Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act — a series of laws designed to "deter terrorism" and "provide for an effective death penalty" passed in response to the Oklahoma City bombing — attempts to limit habeas have become more and more common as, according to Arizona Senator Jon Kyl, habeas petitions have continued to increase.
Next month, the Senate will consider a bill designed to limit what Kyl calls "endless death penalty appeals" under habeas provisions. Critics argue that the new bill would gut constitutional protection for criminals and sanction the execution of the falsely convicted.
Should Congress limit habeas appeals?
Ted Frank has kick the debate off in provocative ways, though his remarks focus on death penalty litigation even though the status and future of habeas concerns a lot more than just capital cases.
July 31, 2005
The weekly wrap-up
The week just completed felt realtively quite, perhaps because the week before had the excitement of a SCOTUS nomination (which I discussed in many posts all linked here). But, as detailed below, the week in fact did have no shortage of noteworthy developments.
SEX OFFENDER SENTENCING DEVELOPMENTS AND COMMENTARY
- Iowa Supreme Court upholds broad sex offender residency restrictions
- More sex offender laws and restrictions in the works
- Latest sex offender idea: five-year minimum federal sentence for failing to register
- Sex offenders bills moving forward
- Intriguing reaction to sex offender panic
LEGISLATIVE DEVELOPMENTS AND COMMENTARY
- State investigation into Sensenbrenner's letters
- Alliance for Justice urges ethics investigation over Sensenbrenner letters
- Fallout from Sensenbrenner's letters
CIRCUIT COURT DEVELOPMENTS AND COMMENTARY
- Notable 3d Circuit footnote on constitutionality of SRA
- Fascinating sentencing day around the circuits
- DOJ seeking rehearing on consideration of state/federal disparity
- Potent comments on preserving Booker error
DISTRICT COURT DEVELOPMENTS AND COMMENTARY
- Post-Booker resentencings
- Judge Kaplan addresses fast-track disparity
- Great opinion on local variations and other post-Booker issues
- Millennium bomber gets 22 years
- Interesting district court read (and evidence of post-Booker toughness)
OTHER SENTENCING DEVELOPMENTS AND COMMENTARY
- New report on "Race and Incarceration in Delaware"
- Proposing a distinctive response to Booker and Blakely
- More on Ohio's Blakely cases
- Will Atkins get the benefit of Atkins?