6th Circuit Rules Blakely Invalidates Guidelines

The Sixth Circuit today ruled that the Supreme Court's Blakely Decision. invalidates the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. Law Prof Doug Berman reports:

,,,,and now in US v. Montgomery, 03-5256 (6th Cir. July 14, 2004), the Sixth Circuit becomes the second federal circuit court to hold that Blakely invalidates invalidates the federal guidelines. The Court found:

In order to comply with Blakely and the Sixth Amendment, the mandatory system of fixed rules calibrating sentences automatically to facts found by judges must be displaced by an indeterminate system in which the Federal Sentencing Guidelines in fact become "guidelines" in the dictionary-definition sense ("an indication or outline of future policy," Webster's International Dictionary (3d ed. 1963)). The "guidelines" will become simply recommendations that the judge should seriously consider but may disregard when she believes that a different sentence is called for....

Here's another line from the opinion:

In light of Blakely, and the language of the enabling act itself, a district judge should no longer view herself as operating a mandatory or determinate sentencing system, but rather should view the guidelines in general as recommendations to be considered and then applied only if the judge believes they are appropriate and in the interests of justice in the particular case.

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