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October 26, 2004

The full Blakely in Washington state

Continuing the trend of rapid-fire state Blakely decisions of great insight and important, on Monday in State v. Harris, 2004 WL 2378276 (Wash. App. Div. 1, Oct. 25, 2004), a Washington appellate court thoughtfully reviews an array of Blakely issues — ranging from severability to court power to double jeopardy — in the course of reaching this result:

We conclude that the exceptional sentence statutes are not facially invalid. But because Harris' stipulation at trial did not admit the facts the court relied on to support the exceptional sentence, we reverse the sentence. We also hold that the superior court on remand has authority to empanel a jury to consider aggravating factors.

The decision can also be accessed here, although it is easier to read on Westlaw. Strangley, though, this important concurring opinion in Harris is not right now appearing on Westlaw. The concurrence starts with this paragraph:
I agree with the majority that our statutes, governing case law, and court rules support the conclusion that trial courts have inherent power to empanel juries to try alleged aggravating sentencing circumstances. I write separately to emphasize that whether courts invoke that power is another matter, requiring careful consideration of the circumstances and the interests of justice in each case.

October 26, 2004 at 01:27 AM | Permalink


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I am not a student or a professor or anything that has to do with legal work. I am just an angry person who doesn't understand why this is happening in the state of Washington. My father was given an exeptinal sentence without the ruling of a jury. He did not do what he did out of hate or anger or anything like that he just mixed the wrong pills with the wrong alcohol and did somthing stupid. His name is Dorcy Long and was sentenced in January of 1999 to 18 years in prison with a maximum sentence of 4 years. I want to know how to use the Blakely vs Washington case to get him some legal help. Thanks

Posted by: DJ Long | Jan 13, 2006 8:32:45 AM

what is the sentence for conspiracy to commit a drive by shooting in Washington state?

Posted by: CC4390 | Jul 9, 2007 9:52:01 PM

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