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December 17, 2005

Great Alaska opinion on Blakely and consecutive sentencing

Proving yet again that great sentencing work is being done in the states (a reality reflected the latest FSR issue about Blakely in the states), the Alaska Court of Appeals on Friday issued an interesting Blakely decision in Vandergriff v. State, No. 2022 (Alaska App. Dec. 16, 2005) (available here).  In Vandergriff, the court holds that Blakely is inapplicable to a judicially-created state law rule which sometimes limits imposition of consecutive sentences unless a judge finds consecutive sentencing is necessary to protect the public.

What makes Vandergriff particularly special and especially worthy of everyone's attention is a fantastic concurrence by Judge Mannheimer.  This concurrence not only gives thorough treatment to Blakely's applicability to consecutive sentencing than, but also provides a cogent and compelling account of the Apprendi-Blakely-Booker line of decisions.  Here's one of the opening paragraphs from Judge Mannheimer's strong and effective opinion:

It is difficult to write a single paragraph that encapsulates the Supreme Court's holdings in Apprendi, Blakely, and Booker without any ambiguity.  However, the basic principle behind Apprendi, Blakely, and Booker is to preserve the right of jury trial in the face of legislative attempts to divide offenses into "elements" (facts to be proved at trial) and "sentencing factors" (facts to be proved at the sentencing hearing).  Apprendi, Blakely, and Booker hold that when the maximum punishment to which a defendant can be subjected varies according to the defendant's degree of offense, a defendant has the right to demand that a jury decide their degree of offense, and the right to demand that the factors which distinguish one degree offense from another be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.

December 17, 2005 at 08:50 AM | Permalink


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Professor Berman:

I am a defense attorney in Akron with a
case on appeal to the 9th District. It involves sentencing a commnity control violator to a maximun term, after he was given notice of same
pursuant to State v. Brooks (which I argued before the Ohio Supreme Court). Is the Foster case applicable given the fact that a defendant is not entitled to a jury trial for a CCV.?
I would appreciate your input via email.

Thnk you.

Posted by: J. Alex Morton | Apr 15, 2006 11:25:25 AM

Professor Blakely is the chair of urban and regional planning at the university of sydney and chair of the reference panel guiding Sydney’s urban strategy for minister craig knowles of DIPNR. He is a fellow of the us national academy of public administration and has an international reputation in urban planning and he has served as an advisor on urban planning in major cities around the world including most recently New York city.

alaska drug rehab

Posted by: keshacoggins | Nov 26, 2008 9:01:11 PM

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