United States Supreme Court
542 U.S. 296 (2004)
Blakely (defendant) was charged with first-degree kidnapping. After reaching a plea agreement, the prosecutor reduced Blakely’s charge to second-degree kidnapping. Washington’s Sentencing Reform Act specified a “standard range” sentence for second-degree kidnapping with a firearm as 49 to 53 months imprisonment. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the prosecutor recommended a sentence within the standard range; however, the judge rejected the recommendation and imposed an “exceptional sentence” of 90 months on the ground that Blakely had acted with “deliberate cruelty.” Blakely objected to the higher sentence and a three-day bench trial was held where the judge issued 32 findings of fact and reiterated his position that Blakely had acted with “deliberate cruelty.” Blakely appealed, arguing that the sentencing procedure deprived him of his federal constitutional right to have a jury determine, beyond a reasonable doubt, all facts legally essential to his sentence, specifically that he had acted with “deliberate cruelty.” The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Scalia, J.)
Dissent (O’Connor, J.)
Dissent (Kennedy, J.)
Dissent (Breyer, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 236,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.