32 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2004
Federal criminal sentencing in the wake of Blakely v. Washington is, to put it charitably, a mess. In holding that Blakely's sentence under the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines was imposed in a manner inconsistent with the Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial, the decision threatens the operation of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and the presumptive sentencing systems in fourteen states. In Parts I and II of this article, we address how Blakely has affected the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and how assistant U.S. attorneys, federal public defenders, and district and appellate court judges might proceed in a post-Blakely world. In Part III, we discuss Blakely challenges raised in cases on direct and collateral review. Finally, in Part IV, we collect some of the various options for reform open to Congress.
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