Thursday, September 09, 2004

Blakely Either Ignored or Misunderstood

The Court of Appeals issued a decision today in Simmons v. State here. Simmons received 94 years for multiple convictions with some sentences imposed consecutively and all sentences enhanced beyond the presumptive. There is no explicit mention of Blakely. There is, however, this odd statement:
Thus, for each of his convictions the trial court enhanced Simmons’ presumptive sentence; however, we also note that the trial court did not apply the maximum sentence permitted by statute.
Why is it relevant to anything that the trial court did not impose "the maximum sentence permitted by statute"? Assuming something changed between Apprendi and Blakely, Apprendi would only matter if the court had imposed a sentence greater than "the maximum sentence permitted by statute"; Blakely would matter if the judge-made findings permitted an enhanced sentence--which they did.

At best, this presents an application of old-style Apprendi reasoning that completely ignores Blakely. At worst, it presents a complete misunderstanding of both Apprendi and Blakely.

When will the Indiana Supreme Court speak?

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