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July 31, 2004

I'm going to Graceland...

Proving that Tennessee deserves the nickname "The Volunteer State," a friend from Tennessee was kind enough to volunteer some helpful information concerning that state's reaction to Blakely. As noted before, Tennessee's Governor has already created a Task Force on the Use of Enhancement Factors in Criminal Sentencing (background here), and I was pleased to learn that the Task Force seems to have a balanced membership, including many judges, prosecutors and defense attorneys (and three very well-regarded law professors as ex officio members). It also seems the Task Force has set a robust schedule and plans to have a report or a proposal before the end of this year.

The history of sentencing reform is Tennessee is quite dynamic, and the pre-Blakely story is well-told here. In 1985, the legislature created the Tennessee Sentencing Commission which helped produce the Tennessee Sentencing Reform Act. That Act became effective on November 1, 1989 and still governs Tennessee sentencing. But the Tennessee Sentencing Commission is no longer with us: the state's legislature abolished the Commission in 1995. And yet, Judge Barbara Haynes, who once served Chair of the Tennessee Sentencing Commission, is now serving a Chair of the Governor's Task Force and apparently others involve with the Task Force formerly were involved with the Tennessee Sentencing Commission.

Even before the Task Force gets started in earnest, official and unofficial voices are sharing wisdom about what Blakely means for Tennessee sentencing. Specifically, the Office of the Tennessee Attorney General has issued a fascinating four-page memorandum presenting "initial impressions ... as to Blakely's effects on Tennessee's statutory sentencing scheme." The memo speaks to a number of universally important topics, such as authority for utilizing sentencing juries, the impact of Blakely on consecutive sentencing, and retroactivity. Covering similar ground in a fuller way from a different perspective, attorney David L. Raybin has completed an article to be published the August 2004 issue of the Tennessee Bar Journal entitled "What is the Impact of Blakely v. Washington on Sentencing in Tennessee." I am pleased to be able to provide access to both these documents here:
Download tenn_ag_advice_to_das_7.8.08.pdf
Download what_is_the_impact_of_blakely_v. Washington on Sentencing in Tennessee.pdf

Now I wonder what Elvis (or even Paul Simon) would think about Blakely?

July 31, 2004 at 10:05 PM | Permalink


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Posted by: laptop battery | Oct 14, 2008 5:17:10 AM

That Act became effective on November 1, 1989 and still governs Tennessee sentencing.

Posted by: Robe de Soirée 2013 | Dec 14, 2012 1:03:29 AM

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