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February 2, 2006

Gearing up for the next Blakely cases

Though not quite as chaotic and urgent as the on-going lethal injection scrummages (background here), the litigation mess that SCOTUS has made through its opaque Sixth Amendment jurisprudence is another example of how an unclear (and perhaps uncertain) Supreme Court can wreck havoc with state criminal justice systems.   More proof comes through this fine article from The Daily Journal of California (courtesy of Howard Bashman), which discusses the Court's impending consideration at its next conference of a number of cert petitions raising Blakely challenges to California's sentencing system.

As I recently discussed here, Justice Alito will get his first opportunity to cut his teeth on Blakely issues through the SCOTUS conference in two weeks in which the Gomez case from Tennessee (background in this post) and a number of the Blakely cases from California are to be conferenced (more details in this post).  The Daily Journal article provides an effective overview of how these issues are playing out in California while everyone awaits possible Supreme Court action.  And the article highlights that it may not be a question of whether, just a matter of when and how, SCOTUS has to address these state Blakely issues:

[Attorney Jonathan] Soglin said it's possible that the high court does not have the appetite for another sentencing case right now. The justices also might want to let the issue percolate in the lower courts, he said.

However, even if the justices deny review, Soglin said, the issue will return to the high court again because the lower federal courts are beginning to examine California's sentencing scheme on habeas review.  "That will just take much longer," Soglin said.

February 2, 2006 at 04:31 PM | Permalink


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I would like to find out the out come of the
Blakely vs. Washington case when the judge the gets the verdict. I heard that it is in trial
now.If it is not please let me know when it will go to court.

Can you please e-mail it to me at [email protected]

Thank you

Posted by: oc | Feb 21, 2006 2:55:57 PM

I am a wife of an inmate in Ohio whom the outcome of the Blakely sentencing may well affect his time left to serve. When a verdict or decision is released I would be very grateful to receive an e-mail regarding the outcome. It is difficult for me to know where to find the information. Thank you very much.

Posted by: Jennifer Updegraff | Mar 5, 2006 6:34:41 PM

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