In Blakely v. Washington, the Court found the Washington State Sentencing Guidelines unconstitutional, placed the validity of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in the gravest doubt, and cast a shadow of deep uncertainty over many state sentencing systems and the entire twenty-five-year sentencing reform movement. Over the next year, legal publications will be deluged with sober analyses, exegeses, dissections, and deconstructions of the doctrinal origins and long-term effects of Blakely. If the big train wreck really happens, I expect I'll write a few myself. However, it is early for that sort of thing since so much about Blakely remains unclear. Indeed, there remains the possibility (for which the Solicitor General will be arguing fervently come October2) that the Justices will find some way of wiggling out of the plain implications of their own language.
Frank O. Bowman III,
Train Wreck? Or Can the Federal Sentencing System Be Saved? A Plea for Rapid Reversal of Blakely v. Washington, 41 American Criminal Law Review 217
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/788