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March 3, 2005

Tennessee's "official" Blakely fix

Last month I reported here and here on work being done by Tennessee's Blakely task force.  Today, David Raybin, who has been integrally involved in the task force's work, sent me two documents reflecting the task force's official product.  It is fascinating stuff and highlights one of the many ways that Booker has shifted debate in the states over Blakely.

The first document, available for downloading below, is the task force's Final Report.  This document explains that the Task Force considered but rejected a bifurcated jury approach, as well as a wide-open discretionary judge-sentencing system, and instead adopted an "advisory guideline" approach.  The second document, also available for below, is the task force's proposed legislation itself.   As David Rabyin explained in his e-mail:

Our proposal removes presumptive sentencing from Tennessee law so as to comply with the United States Supreme Court decisions. The former presumptive sentence provisions are replaced with a series of guidelines that include enhancement and mitigating factors and a statement of principles and sentencing considerations. The proposed Act requires the judge consider, but not be bound by, these advisory guidelines to arrive at an appropriate sentence which is subject to appellate review.

David also explained in his e-mail that:

There was significant debate over [our] proposal which seemingly violates Blakley.  However, once we concluded that Booker trumps Blakely, we were satisfied that this was a sound alternative. The new law will be prospective given ex post facto considerations but a defendant may opt in by executing a waiver. There are a few new benefits under the law such as increased probation eligibility.

Download tennessee_task_force_report.pdf

Download tennessee_blakely_legislative_proposal.pdf

March 3, 2005 at 04:23 PM | Permalink


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