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Name: People v. Black
Case #: S126182
Court: CA Supreme Court
District CalSup
Opinion Date: 06/20/2005

The judicial fact finding that occurs when a judge exercises discretion to impose an upper term sentence or consecutive terms under California law does not implicate a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial under Blakely v. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531. Blakely and United States v. Booker (2005) 125 S.Ct. 738 established a constitutionally significant distinction between a sentencing scheme that permits judges to engage in the type of judicial fact finding traditionally involved in the exercise of discretion employed in selecting a sentence from within the range prescribed for an offense, and a sentencing scheme that…

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Name: People v. Taulton
Case #: G033673
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/31/2005
Subsequent History: rvw. den. 9/7/05

Following a bifurcated trial, appellant was convicted of burglary. The court then found two prior convictions true based solely on the introduction of a "969b" packet. He was sentenced to the upper term based on his record as a recidivist. On appeal, he argued that the true findings, which were based on documentary evidence only, violated his right to confrontation under Crawford v. Washington. In a supplemental brief, he argued that the court erred in imposing the upper term based on facts neither alleged in the information nor proven to a jury, in violation of his rights as…

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Name: In re Consiglio
Case #: D045081
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 04/15/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. den. 7/27/05

Petitioner was serving a 33-year term including both upper terms and consecutive sentences, a judgment which was final at the time the opinion in Blakely v. Washington was issued. In this petition he contended that the Blakely decision applies retroactively to cases which were final when the decision was issued. The appellate court rejected appellant's argument. Since Blakely merely clarified, or, at most, extended the procedural rule announced in Apprendi, Blakely does not apply retroactively to cases like petitioner's which are already final. Further, petitioner failed to establish that the judge was unaware of his discretion…

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Name: Shepard v. United States
Case #: Mar-68
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 03/07/2005
Subsequent History: Cross cites: 125 S.Ct. 1254; 161 L.Ed.2d 205

The inquiry into whether a prior conviction which resulted from a guilty plea includes facts necessary to render it a prior conviction within the meaning of the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA; 18 U.S.C. § 924(e)) "is limited to the terms of the charging document, the terms of a plea agreement or transcript of colloquy between judge and defendant in which the factual basis for the plea was confirmed by the defendant, or to some comparable judicial record of this information." This limitation is consistent with the intent of Congress and with the Court’s prior holding in Taylor v.…

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Name: Johnson v. United States
Case #: Mar-85
Court: US Supreme Court
District USSup
Opinion Date: 04/04/2005
Subsequent History: Cross cites: 161 L.Ed.2d 542; 125 S.Ct. 1571

Johnson was convicted in 1994 of a federal drug offense, and received a sentence enhancement because of his prior Georgia convictions. In 1996, AEDPA was passed, which imposed a one-year deadline to challenge a federal sentence. In 1998, Johnson sought habeas relief in Georgia. The state court vacated the prior Georgia convictions because Johnson had not waived the right to counsel in those cases. Johnson then sought to vacate the federal enhancement based on the Georgia convictions. The appellate court found his challenge untimely. The United States Supreme Court affirmed. In a case…

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Name: People v. Palacios
Case #: D042461
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 4 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 02/02/2005
Subsequent History: 5/11/05 rev. granted: S132144

A trial court erred in imposing multiple enhancements for discharging a firearm where there was only one shot fired at a single victim. After concluding that substantial evidence supported the defendant’s convictions for attempted murder, kidnapping for robbery, and kidnapping for carjacking, as well as the finding that he had discharged a firearm in the commission of those crimes, the court held that section 654 did not preclude multiple punishment for kidnapping the same victim for robbery and for carjacking, since the evidence showed separate objectives for those two crimes. However, separate punishment for the same acts in regard…

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Name: People v. Stankewitz
Case #: F044592
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 5 DCA
Opinion Date: 02/09/2005
Subsequent History: 5/18/05: revw GRANTED: S132221

After the Supreme Court decided Blakely, appellant filed a supplemental brief contending that the court committed error by selecting the upper term for the basis of his sentence for gross vehicular manslaughter while intoxicated based on aggravating factors not admitted or found by a jury. The court based its choice of the upper term on appellant's prior violent record, citing the increasing seriousness of the prior convictions and the fact that appellant had not performed well on probation or parole. The appellate court found the imposition of the upper term proper. Assuming Blakely applies to the imposition…

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Name: People v. Saphao
Case #: A103716
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 2
Opinion Date: 02/10/2005
Subsequent History: Rev. Granted: 6/8/05 (S132399)

The determination of whether consecutive 25-life terms are to be imposed under the one-strike law should be made by applying the "separate occasion" test under section 667.6. The defendant was convicted of various offenses including rape and penetration with a foreign object, and was sentenced to consecutive 25-life terms under the one strike law. On appeal he argued that the separate terms violated the "single occasion" limitation under Penal Code section 667.61 as clarified in People v. Jones (2001) 25 Cal.4th 98. The Court of Appeal disagreed and held that Jones permitted separate terms under the facts…

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Name: Cooper-Smith v. Palmateer
Case #: 03-35794
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 02/16/2005

The decision in Blakely vs. Washington (2004) 124 S.Ct. 2531 does not apply retroactively to cases pending on collateral review at the time that case was…

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Name: People v. Amons
Case #: A105374
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 1 DCA
Division: 1
Opinion Date: 01/11/2005
Subsequent History: 4/20/05: revw. den.

Appellant was sentenced in 1999 to a seven year term in state prison which included a four year upper term based on his recidivism and aggravating circumstances. Execution of the sentence was suspended, and appellant was on probation until January, 2004, when it was revoked. On appeal, he argued that the trial court violated the principles of Blakely by imposing the upper term based on aggravating circumstances not found by the jury or admitted. He argued that the rule articulated in Blakely must be applied to his case, which was "still pending" when the opinion issued. …

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