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Name: People v. Vaughn
Case #: B165489
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 4
Opinion Date: 10/05/2004
Subsequent History: rev. gr. 12/15/04: S129050

The trial court’s imposition of consecutive sentences does not usurp the jury’s fact-finding powers or defendant’s due process rights under Blakely v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531. The court first found that the claimed error was not waived because the Blakely decision extended the Apprendi v. New Jersey (2000) 530 U.S. 466 rationale into a new area. Next, the court held that the factors used to impose the upper term in this case, namely the violence and multiplicity of appellant’s crimes, were inherent in the jury’s verdict and required no separate findings by the trial court. Finally, the court found that Blakely did not apply to the determination to impose consecutive sentences, because although California law permits concurrent sentencing for multiple crimes, a judge’s exercise of discretion in that regard constitutes a lessening of the prescribed sentence rather than an enhancement.