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October 23, 2005

State Blakely mess: the split over Blakely's application to presumptive sentencing

I have now had a chance to read closely the New Mexico Supreme Court's recent ruling in Lopez, which concludes that Blakely does not impact the state's presumptive sentencing system (basics here).  As I will discuss in a future post, Lopez is quite interesting and perhaps defensible even though it seems contrary to Blakely.  But first I wanted to assemble in one place the dramatic divergence of opinions that has developed on the application of Blakely in those states with a form of presumptive sentencing.


California: California Supreme Court dodges Blakely, reporting on People v. Black (Cal. June 20, 2005).

Hawaii: Big Blakely rulings from the ends of the Union, reporting on Hawaii v. Maugaotega (Hawaii June 29, 2005).

New Mexico: New Mexico Supreme Court deepens state split over Blakely, reporting on New Mexico v. Lopez (N.M. Oct. 14, 2005).

Tennessee: Tennessee dodges Blakely, so says divided state supreme court, reporting on Tennessee v. Gomez (Tenn. Apr. 15, 2005).


Arizona: The Blakely earthquake hits Arizona, reporting on State v. Brown (Ariz. Oct. 27, 2004).

Colorado: Colorado Supreme Court applies Blakely!, reporting on Lopez v. People (Colo. May 23, 2005).

Indiana: The Indiana Supreme Court speaks on Blakely!, reporting on Smylie v. Indiana (Ind. Mar. 9, 2005).

New Jersey: New Jersey applies Blakely (and Booker?), reporting on State v. Natale (N.J. Aug. 2, 2005).

North Carolina: Huge Blakely day in North Carolina, reporting on State v. Allen (N.C. July 1, 2005).

This list leaves out state rulings from Minnesota and Oregon which address Blakely's applicability to a full system of sentencing guidelines and also leaves out other state rulings addressing more limited Blakely issues.  (A slightly dated, more complete list of state high court Blakely rulings can be found in this post and many other state Blakely rulings can be found at this index.) 

Notably, the Ohio Supreme Court should soon hand down decisions in Ohio's big Blakely cases.  If the Ohio Supreme Court follows the lead of most Ohio lower courts, we could have an even 5-5 split here.

October 23, 2005 at 07:33 PM | Permalink


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