Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Off to the Sweet (?) Hereafter

Blogging is going to be (very) brief for the next couple of weeks while I am a full-time poppa to my four-year old. Unlike the big-time bloggers, I don't have anyone to take over or guest-host for me. And all in all, there's lots to be said for long afternoons in the park and making pumpkin bars.

For anyone who has not seen the Blakely post on Marcia Oddi's site today here--it is worth a look, a read, and a listen. It includes a link to a Blakely story on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday--Eric Vos reading a letter he wrote to NPR in response to an earlier story. The much-noted perversity of Blakely becomes starkly apparent when you place Vos's point--that the Sentencing Guidelines put too much power in the hands of prosecutors, who are not trained, he says, to exercise discretion, by taking it out of the hands of judges, who are so trained--with a comment of Justice Scalia's at the Booker / Fanfan arguments as reported in a story on Bloomberg News (here): "The reason for a jury trial is that we don't trust judges."

If the legislative response to Blakely is not to be sentencing reform writ large, but technical fixes in the form of mandatory minimum sentences and simply taking the top off presumptive sentences, in the Indiana context, Blakely is not going to be any cure for the disease identified by Blakely's author and my occasional hero. That is, Blakely World is likely to have a relatively short existence, however fascinating the current promise of its unexplored geography. And I think there is some reason to fear the Blakely Hereafter.

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