A Proposal for Bringing the Federal Sentencing Guidelines into Conformity with Blakely V. Washington

9 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2004

Abstract

On June 24, 2004, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Blakely v. Washington, a case that invalidated the Washington state sentencing guidelines and cast the validity of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines into grave doubt. On June 27, 2004, Professor Frank Bowman sent a memorandum to the United States Sentencing Commission analyzing the probable impact of Blakely on the federal guidelines and proposing a legislative modification of the Guidelines to render them compliant with Blakely. The proposal relies on the rule of McMillan v. Pennsylvania, 477 U.S. 79 (1986), and Harris v. United States, 536 U.S. 545 (2002), that post-conviction judicial findings of fact may increase minimum sentences. It suggests that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines could be rendered constitutional by eliminating the tops of the current ranges on the sentencing table and substituting the maximum statutory sentence available for the crime or crimes of conviction. This proposal has been the subject of considerable discussion in Congress and elsewhere.

Keywords: Sentencing, federal sentencing guidelines, Blakely v Washington, criminal law

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Bowman III, Frank O., A Proposal for Bringing the Federal Sentencing Guidelines into Conformity with Blakely V. Washington. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=581642

Frank O. Bowman III (Contact Author)

University of Missouri School of Law ( email )

Missouri Avenue & Conley Avenue
Columbia, MO MO 65211
United States
573-882-2749 (Phone)

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