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December 7, 2004

Seeking help on Blakely in the states

I have regularly highlighted the important and intriguing Blakely work being done in the state appellate courts — e.g.,November posts here and here and here and here and here detailed the breath and scope some of the major state Blakely rulings from last month alone.  But, with so many state issues and opinions (and with all the time I am spending crying Wolf about the coming of Booker and Fanfan), I have of late been unable to track effectively the still developing and always evolving story of Blakely in the state courts. 

I hope readers will continue to spotlight for me especially compelling and important state Blakely rulings in the days and weeks ahead.   I would be especially grateful to get information and resources from anyone trying to track systematically  state court Blakely rulings.  As I noted here last week, a number of state supreme courts have Blakely cases in front of them and might be expecting (or at least hoping) additional guidance will come from Booker and Fanfan; it will be interesting to see if one consequence of the (eventual) ruling in Booker and Fanfan is a rapid-fire series of major state supreme court rulings.

And, of course, state courts are only one of many state institutions forced to cope with the Blakely earthquake.  I know the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission is having hearings in the coming days "to consider proposed modifications to the sentencing guidelines and commentary resulting from the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision Blakely v. Washington" (details here).  And newspaper articles noted in posts here and here document that other state commissions and legislatures are, at a seemingly cautious pace, working through Blakely concerns.  I highly encourage readers also to report on state legislative or policy developments on all state Blakely issues in the days and weeks ahead.

As I have noted before, the federal sentencing story will surely grab all the headlines in the wake of a decision in Booker and Fanfan.  But I find the state Blakely story engaging, critically important, and often far more encouraging than the federal story.

December 7, 2004 at 03:24 PM | Permalink


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Professor Berman; I've e-mailed you before and have found this Blakely, Booker/Fanfan very interesting as I know someone who is currently serving time in a Federal Prison. I have another question for you. A questions that has haunted me for some time now. Why is it that the States are making a great deal of effort to make changes to the system and the Federal system is not wanting to move at all. Am I just not with the times and maybe this is common for the Federal Government. I'm a healthcare professional non-legal.

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