The Sixth Amendment and Criminal Sentencing
32 Pages Posted: 14 Mar 2008 Last revised: 7 Apr 2010
This symposium essay explores the impact of Rita, Gall, and Kimbrough on state and federal sentencing and plea bargaining systems. The Court continues to try to explain how the Sixth Amendment jury trial right limits legislative and judicial control of criminal sentencing. Equally importantly, the opposing sides in this debate have begun to form a stable consensus. These decisions inject more uncertainty in the process and free trial judges to counterbalance prosecutors. Thus, we predict, these decisions will move the balance of plea bargaining power back toward criminal defendants.
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