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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Heath and Smylie handed down this afternoon?

That is the "word on the street" -- I'll try to post them as soon as I can get my hands on them.

[Update] Only Smylie. Here it is:

Smylie v. State (3/9/05 IndSCt) [Criminal Law and Procedure]
Shepard, Chief Justice

Attempting to take account of both Blakely and Booker, we hold today that portions of Indiana’s sentencing scheme violate the Sixth Amendment’s right to trial by jury, and that the new rule of Blakely should apply to all cases pending on direct review at the time Blakely was announced in which the appellant has adequately preserved appellate review of the sentence. * * *

We reverse that part of Smylie’s sentence that enhances the standard penalty and remand for a new sentencing hearing in which the State may elect to prove adequate aggravating circumstances before a jury or accept the statutory fixed term. We affirm the order for consecutive sentences.
Sullivan, Boehm, and Rucker, JJ., concur.

Dickson, J., dissents with separate opinion. Because of recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court, the majority chooses to preserve the constitutionality of Indiana's criminal sentencing system by judicially severing statutory provisions that direct trial judges to consider aggravating and mitigating circumstances to determine sentences, and by engrafting a new procedure requiring that aggravating circumstances be submitted for jury determination. I prefer a less onerous construction that leaves intact the language of the statute and modifies only judicial precedent interpreting the statute. * * *

[More] I just did a search - Heath is not mentioned in Smylie.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 9, 2005 02:55 PM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions