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August 17, 2004

Blakely snippets

The media has dramatically slowed its coverage of Blakely, which is a shame because there are still many significant developments every day. For example, I still have not seen a single report on the Sixth Circuit's important order in Koch (details here), though perhaps the Sixth Circuit itself does not mind that few have noticed its plagiarism of the Fourth Circuit's (still unexplained) order in Hammoud.

The occasional media coverage, even when just providing snippets of news, continues to shed light on how Blakely is impacting the day-to-day world of sentencing. For example, this brief article from Tennessee notes the successful efforts of state prosecutors to get a rape defendant's sentencing increased after the sentencing judge had first given a lower sentence based on Blakely.

And this piece from the Grand Rapids Press likewise provides these interesting (though opaque) snippets of information about federal sentencing in Michigan:

US District Judge Robert Holmes Bell in Grand Rapids has ... issued two sentences. District Judge Gordon Quist, also in Grand Rapids, has declared the sentencing guidelines unconstitutional under Blakely, though he continues to adhere to them as a practical matter. The same is true for District Judge Richard Enslen of Kalamazoo.

Notably, this Michigan article, though published Monday, does not report on the Sixth Circuit's order last Friday in Koch, though it does note the Fourth Circuit's order in Hammoud. Also, the description of Judge Enslen's Blakely work is a bit too cursory and thus a bit inaccurate (details here).

The Michigan piece does get credit for these closing rhetorical flourishes in its complaints about the messiness of federal sentencing in the wake of Blakely:

The Supreme Court was stunningly irresponsible not to clarify what the Blakely decision means to the federal system.... The key question citizens should be asking: Why are justices still languishing on beaches while the federal court system languishes in doubt?

August 17, 2004 at 08:20 AM | Permalink


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