Beyond Blakely

32 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2004

See all articles by Nancy J. King

Nancy J. King

Vanderbilt University - Law School

Susan R. Klein

University of Texas School of Law


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.

Suggested Citation

King, Nancy J. and Klein, Susan R., Beyond Blakely. U of Texas Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 67; Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 04-17. Available at SSRN:

Nancy J. King (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - Law School ( email )

131 21st Avenue South
Nashville, TN 37203-1181
United States
(615) 343-9836 (Phone)
(615) 322-6631 (Fax)

Susan R. Klein

University of Texas School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512-232-1324 (Phone)
512-471-6988 (Fax)


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