Document Type


Publication Date



Soon after the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in Blakely v. Washington, which invalidated the Washington state sentencing guidelines and cast doubt on the constitutionality of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on "Blakely v. Washington and the Future of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines." Witnesses from the U.S. Department of Justice, the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and the judiciary downplayed the seriousness of the situation and urged caution in any congressional action. Concerned that the situation in the courts was more dire than the institutional witnesses had been willing to admit, Professor Frank Bowman subsequently sent the following memorandum to the Sentencing Commission, the Justice Department and others. It analyzes the case for a prompt legislative response to Blakely, with particular emphasis on the proposal offered by Professor Bowman several days after the Blakely decision, which is reproduced at 16 Federal Sentencing Reporter 364 (June 2004), and also on SSRN.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.