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December 30, 2005

Intricate Ninth Circuit ruling on consecutive sentencing

To ring out the year, the Ninth Circuit issued today a long and intricate opinion on consecutive sentencing in US v. Fifield, No. 04-30299 (9th Cir. Dec. 30, 2005) (available here).  Fifield covers lots of ground, including some Blakely/Booker issues.  Here's how it starts:

On appeal, Fifield presents three questions relating to the district court's decision to make the federal sentences run consecutively to the state sentences.  First, he argues that under Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 32, he was entitled to specific notice that the district court was considering ordering the sentences to run consecutively. Second, he contends that the district court violated 18 U.S.C. §§ 3584 and 3553 by failing to state in open court its reasons for deciding to run the sentences consecutively.  Third, he maintains that the decision to run the sentences consecutively violated his Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial because the decision was based on facts that were neither found by a jury nor admitted.

We disagree with all three procedural contentions.

December 30, 2005 at 03:27 PM | Permalink


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