7th Circuit Finds Guidelines Unconstitutional Under Blakely
The Seventh Circuit this afternoon declared the federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional as applied to a sentence that was enhanced on the basis of facts that were not determined by a jury. This appears to be the first appellate decision to find that the Supreme Court's decision in Blakely requires facts that determine a guideline sentence to be found by a jury. In the interest of full disclosure, TChris (speaking here in the third person) was the defense attorney who argued the case: USA v. Booker (pdf).
The court did not decide whether the guidelines are unconstitutional in their entirety. It did not decide whether the guideline requirement that judges find sentencing facts can be severed from the other guideline requirements, leaving that for the district court to consider on remand.
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