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Old 01-12-2005, 09:23 AM
HanginOn HanginOn is offline
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Default Supreme Court Has Ruled on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines!!!

http://sentencing.typepad.com/

Not a moment too soon, we finally have an opinion in Booker and Fanfan!! All I know is that it is long and messy, but it appears Blakely applies to the federal guidelines, with Justices Stevens and Breyer both writing parts of the Court's opinion. More soon!
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:28 AM
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OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG
They say it will apply to the federal sentencing guidelines????????????????????? Lord I pray that is true in a GOOD way! Please, please, please!
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:29 AM
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From the SCOTUSblog:

http://goldsteinhowe.com/blog/archiv...46313653361155

10:16 AM | Lyle Denniston Link to this Post
Sentencing Guidlines survive -- in part

The Supreme Court ruled today that the federal Sentencing Guidelines must satisfy the standards of the Sixth Amendment as applied in the Court's ruling in Blakely v. Washington. Justice Stevens wrote an opinion on that point, and Justice Breyer wrote a separate opinion saying that the Guidelines can no longer be mandatory, but can continue to operate "in a manner consistent with congressional intent."
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:32 AM
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10:16 AM | Lyle Denniston Link to this Post
Sentencing Guidlines survive -- no longer mandatory

The Supreme Court ruled today that the federal Sentencing Guidelines must satisfy the standards of the Sixth Amendment as applied in the Court's ruling in Blakely v. Washington. Justice Stevens wrote an opinion on that point, and Justice Breyer wrote a separate opinion saying that the Guidelines can no longer be mandatory, but can continue to operate "in a manner consistent with congressional intent."
Justice Breyer's opinion declares, in key parts:
"The District Courts, while not bound to apply the Guidelines, must consult those Guidelines and take them into account when sentencing....The courts of appeals review sentencing decisions for unreasonableness. These features of the remaining system, while not the system Congress enacted, nevertheless continue to move sentencing in Congress' preferred direction, helping to avoid excessive sentencing disparities while maintaining flexibility sufficient to individualize sentences where necessary.
"...Ours, of course, is not the last word: The ball now lies in Congress' court. The National Legislature is equipped to devise and install, long-term, the sentencing system, compatible with the Constitution, that Congress judges best for the federal system of justice."
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:41 AM
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Hangin on, THANK YOU! You are so on top of this! I dunno if I can wait long enough for them to upload the pages! Blakely APPLIES to the federal sentencing! That is such a great, late holiday present.
good good post! thank you again!
mary
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:44 AM
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Im sorry but can someone explain what blakely is? everyone is so excited :fb:
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:45 AM
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Supreme Court Weakens Federal Sentencing Rules Wednesday, January 12, 2005

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that federal judges have been improperly adding time to criminals' sentences, a decision that puts in doubt longtime sentencing rules.

The court, on a 5-4 vote, said that its ruling last June that juries — not judges — should consider factors that can add years to defendants' prison sentences applies as well to the 17-year-old federal guideline system.

The justices refused to backtrack from a 5-4 decision that struck down a state sentencing system because it gave judges too much leeway in sentencing. But the high court stopped short of striking down the federal system.

Justice Stephen Breyer, writing for the majority, said the federal sentencing system is at least in part invalid because it forces judges to use the guidelines.

About 64,000 people are sentenced in federal courts each year, under a system that had been challenged as unconstitutional in a pair of cases at the Supreme Court.

The divided ruling Wednesday took longer than expected. Justices had put the issue on a fast track, scheduling special arguments on the first day of their nine-month term in October. Most court watchers expected a ruling before the holidays.
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enlytee
Im sorry but can someone explain what blakely is? everyone is so excited :fb:

Here's a link for you:

http://www.prisontalk.com/forums/sea...archid=1030973
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Old 01-12-2005, 09:57 AM
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Bottom line? this is all very confusing to me. My guy was sentenced under the old guildlines, he has already done his original time, but every time he goes in front of the parole board they add a year or two, because of fights, etc. Does this mean, that they can't do that anymore? since he has already fulfilled his original sentence?
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:04 AM
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gabbygirl, basically the answer is NO - Blakely applies to enhanced time under the old federal sentencing guidelines. Now the Supreme Court has said that there is NO mandatory minimum - so the judges aren't bound to give a Maximum minimum sentence by federal law, and in the same breath - the prosecutor and judge can't just arbitrarily add time to the sentence based on facts that they could not present (for example) to a jury or a sentencing jury (watch for these folks! they're going to start popping up everywhere, I think). So, your guy served the sentence already that the judge imposed - the rest is a direct result of activities while incarcerated. So, I'm sorry, but Blakely wouldn't have any affect on that. It sounds like he needs some help to prepare for the parole board hearings, though - see if you can get a local law school or university law school involved with him. Or even one of the local chapters of the prison activist organizations.
best of luck!
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemama
Now the Supreme Court has said that there is NO mandatory minimum - mary
Mary, I strongly disagree with this. Apprendi (which is what started Blakely) does not apply to mandatory minimums.
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:16 AM
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Heres a link to the 120 some odd page ruling!!!

http://a257.g.akamaitech.net/7/257/2...pdf/04-104.pdf
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:17 AM
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so if someone pleads guilty and they were sentenced to max by federal guidelines can they use blakely? im confused
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:22 AM
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enlytee, blakely applies to enhancements under the federal sentencing guidelines. so in plain english, if your guy pleaded guilty and then at the day of sentencing the prosecutors imposed a longer sentence, also called an enhancement, and the judge granted it, then he can use blakely. because basically this shouldn't be decided by just the prosecutor or the judge but by a jury. that's put in very plain language.
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:29 AM
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That's exactly what happened to my husband. When he plead guilty he was in 70 to 87 months range. PSI report said that he should be at 87 to 100 months range. Judge thought that the PSI report was right, even though the prosecutor didn't think so - they were fine with the guilty plea agreement.

The judge gave 87 month.. which is niether here nor there! But we filed the 2255 motion about this. Saying that he should've been sentenced at the LOWEST of 70 to 87 months guideline - which is 70 months, not 87.

I am wondering what we should expect to happen now? Anyone?

TIA.

T.
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:31 AM
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Please remember that if someone is enhanced DUE TO A PRIOR CONVICTION, that enhancement is LEGAL.

None of us really know, at this point, what is going to happen. This is very important to remember. No one knows if this will even be retroactive at this point. We've got to remember that Congress, as stated above, has the final say so. This is just the beginning of what is probably going to be a long drawn out process.......
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:32 AM
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So where do we go from here with Blakely and does anyone know if this will be retroactive since my husbnads case was since 1992 but because of enhancements he is still inside?
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:51 AM
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Retroactivity issue was not even before the Supreme Court, so no one knows at this point.
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Old 01-12-2005, 10:56 AM
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hangin on - Justice Stevens says: " the effect of making the guidelines mandatory must be invalidated in order to allow the statute to operate in a manner consistent with congressional intent" maybe i misunderstood? if you invalidate the existing sentencing guidelines, then there is no mandatory minimum...right? i understood that they are suggesting judges now use the guidelines for a reference in their sentencing right? or maybe i'm interpreting wrong?

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Old 01-12-2005, 10:57 AM
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I guess now would be the time to flood Congress with letters about the sentencing guidelines since the SCOTUS has clearly lobbed the ball into their court, no pun intended!
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemama
hangin on - Justice Stevens says: " the effect of making the guidelines mandatory must be invalidated in order to allow the statute to operate in a manner consistent with congressional intent" maybe i misunderstood? if you invalidate the existing sentencing guidelines, then there is no mandatory minimum...right? i understood that they are suggesting judges now use the guidelines for a reference in their sentencing right? or maybe i'm interpreting wrong?

mary
Gosh Mary, at this point, it's anybody's guess. None of us, especially me lol, are legal experts. But to me, since the guidelines were not ruled to be unconstitutional, mandatory minimums are still legal. The guidelines are still legal, it's just now up to the judge on how he wants to use them. This is what I based my statement on from a draft I read on Prof. Berman's website:

ALthough the lower federal courts and the state courts confined Apprendi & it's progeny to the traditional, legislatively-enacted statutory maximum, there was "great speculation among academics, judges, & lawyers about how far it would go. Would, for example Apprendi be extended to, and thus invalidate, determinate sentencing guidelines systems? The Supreme Court seemd to ally those fears in Harris V US. In Harris, a wobbly majoirty of the Court concluded that Apprendi did not invalidate mandatory minimum sentencing where the triggering event, such as the presence of a gun, was judicially found by a preponderance of the evidence. The Harris majority was wobbly because of Justice Breyer. In Harris, Justice Breyer concurred in the judgment & joined selected parts of Justice Kennedy's lead (and at times majority) opinion. Justice Breyer said that he could not "easily distinguish" Aprrendi from Harris "in terms of logic" and thus did not join "the plurality's opinion insofar as it finds such a distinction". He went on to observe that "because I believe that extending Apprendi to mandatory minimums would have adverse practical, as well asl legal, consequences, I cannot yet accept its rule. I therefore join the Court's judgment, and I join in opinion to the extent that it holds that Aprrendi does not apply to mandatory minimums."

I think the important thing to keep in mind now is that the guidelines are still constitutional, it's just not mandatory that they be followed? How do you intrepret what I wrote from the draft?

Kim
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Old 01-12-2005, 11:54 AM
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My b/f received an additional 17 months of enhancements to total a 168 month sentence. He has served about 21 months so far. Does anyone know how we should move forward now to get rid of those enhancements?
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:29 PM
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I'd to know what exactly the opinion means... Does it mean that it goes in our favour or not? If yes, will it be made retroactive? What do we do from here?

I really dont understand it all. I'd really like it if someone could come and explain it all in plain English (American )! Thank you! x
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:49 PM
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Old 01-12-2005, 12:50 PM
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i note that everyone is talking about juries here. what happens if someone "throws themselves on the mercy of the court"? this is what i did, i pled guilty but refused to make any sort of "deal" with the prosecutors. my judge said "i think you learned your lesson and i'd like to just give you probation but i cant because of the guidelines".

in my case, it was a 6 point offense enhanced by a loss figure that added another 11 points on to it... a loss figure created more or less out of thin air by the prosecution (nobody ever made a cent and the prosecution agrees with this but said our actions cost others $$$, the original loss figure was higher, we fought it and got it down). with this new decision, what sort of latitude does the judge have now?
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