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August 1, 2004

Read all about Blakely

The Sunday papers have a lot of Blakely coverage, and I am ever thankful that Howard J. Bashman over at How Appealing continues do a great job assembling the headlines here. His hard work allows me to focus on providing some of the highlights.

An absolute must-read this morning is this (long) article in The Boston Globe by Emily Bazelon, Senior Editor of Legal Affairs magazine. The article is the most comprehensive and insightful piece of journalism about sentencing reform that I have seen since Blakely was handed down, and it includes a fascinating focus on Justice Stephen Breyer's place in the eye of all the sentencing reform hurricanes. It ends with this trenchant post-Blakely observation: "Breyer will have to decide whether to concede that his vision of federal sentencing is dead — and whether to cast his future votes in a way that makes the best of the new reality."

Also worthy of attention and praise is this piece from The Denver Post in which law professor Robert Hardaway astutely notes that military defendants and civil litigants have long had access to juries:

Military courts ... have traditionally applied the Sixth Amendment. Indeed, the sentencing phase is considered equal, if not greater in importance, to the guilt or innocence phase. Punishments are imposed not by the trial judge considering hearsay or opinion evidence produced by a probation officer, but rather by a jury (called a court panel) after a full hearing at which all the rights of due process are accorded the defendant and the rules of evidence are applied. In civil cases, of course, courts routinely extend to parties the right to a jury not only during the liability phase but also during the damage phase of a traditional tort or breach of contract case.

The piece in The Denver Post also includes this cool graphic, and closes with this dramatic assertion: "The high court's decision in Blakely redresses one of the blackest marks in the history of American criminal justice and restores to civilian defendants a precious constitutional right long granted to an accused in the military courts."

Also of interest is this article about new indictment practices after Blakely, and this article about the post-Blakely world in Virginia (which cites fellow blogger Ken Lammers of CrimLaw).

August 1, 2004 at 10:15 AM | Permalink


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Indeed, the sentencing phase is considered equal, if not greater in importance, to the guilt or innocence phase.

Posted by: Robe de Soirée 2013 | Dec 14, 2012 1:00:16 AM

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