12 October 2007

Huge Oregon Sentencing Case

[T]he Oregon Supreme Court today in State v. Ice, No. S52248 (Ore. Oct. 11, 2007) (available here), holds that the "federal constitution requires that a jury, rather than a judge, find the facts that Oregon law requires be present before a judge can impose consecutive sentences."

If this decision is followed in other states, it will have more practical impact than any of the other decisions in the Apprendi, Blakely, Booker line of cases. This is true particularly in light of the amazing irrelevance of the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines are not binding, as federal appellate court continue to routinely invalidate sentences more lenient than the guidelines suggest, while routinely affirming more severe sentences and sentences within guideline ranges.

More very long sentences involve cases where an individual is given multiple consecutive sentences which are moderate when taken alone, than as a result of very long sentence for a single crime. But, the standard involved in deciding whether sentences should be consecutive or concurrent are often fuzzy.

No comments: