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April 7, 2008

Hawai'i Supreme Court okays state's Blakely fix

Thanks to this post at How Appealing, I saw that the Hawai'i Supreme Court, in a lengthy split ruling, approved the constitutionality of the state's recent Blakely fix legislation.  This article from the Honolulu Advertiser describes the basics of the ruling:

The Hawai'i Supreme Court has approved a new state law, passed by the Legislature in special session last year, that changes procedures for imposition of "enhanced" sentences of criminals identified as dangers to the community. In finding the law constitutional, however, the high court said prosecutors must notify such defendants at the outset of such a case that enhanced sentencing will be pursued if they are convicted.

In a 72-page, 3-2 decision written by Justice Steven Levinson, the court also approved provisions of the law that allows it to be applied retroactively to convicts who have received enhanced sentences. Hawai'i Attorney General Mark Bennett, who argued the constitutionality of the law before the high court, said "there are good and bad things" in the decision.

Thanks also to How Appealing, here are links to the ruling, in the form of a majority opinion; an opinion concurring and dissenting; and a dissenting opinion.

April 7, 2008 at 05:56 PM | Permalink

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Comments

The so-called "bad things" mentioned by the prosecutor seem to include providing the defendant with adequate notice of the proposed aggravating factors. Apparently they used to just spring them at sentencing? Darn fundamental fairness and notice requirements, always getting in the way...

Posted by: Anon | Apr 7, 2008 7:11:33 PM

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