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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Ind. Decisions - Supreme Court issues sentencing decision today

Randal Young v. State (10/4/05), a 4-page, 5-0 decision written by Judge Sullivan, was posted today. Some quotes:

As noted, the trial court, acting before Blakely was decided, enhanced the sentences on each of the counts to which Defendant pled guilty. Because this case was on appeal when Blake-ly was decided and Defendant timely appealed his sentence, he is entitled to argue that the trial court violated Blakely in imposing the sentence it did. Smylie, 823 N.E.2d at 690-91.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the sentence imposed by the trial court, finding that the trial court did not violate Blakely when it enhanced the presumptive sentence on each of the counts on grounds that Defendant had “committed multiple violent crimes within a short period of time.” Young v. State, 826 N.E.2d 665, 669 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005). That is, because Defendant had admitted when he pled guilty that he had gone on a “crime spree,” the trial court was entitled to use that admission to enhance his sentence. Id. We granted transfer. Young v. State, No. 49S04-0507-CR-321, 2005 Ind. LEXIS 604 (Ind. July 13, 2005).2

We think the application by the Court of Appeals of the “admitted by the defendant” al-ternative to the Blakely rule was not supported by authority and unnecessary in this instance. This is “because the trial court might have imposed essentially the same [amount] of jail time by ordering other sentences served consecutively, see [Ind. Code] § 35-50-1-2, and a court’s author-ity to order consecutive sentences was not affected by Blakely.” Estes v. State, 827 N.E.2d 27, 29 (Ind. 2005) (citing Smylie, 823 N.E.2d at 686).

We believe this case is most expeditiously resolved by, as we did in the recent case of Williams v. State, 827 N.E.2d 1127, 1128 (Ind. 2005), altering the sentences ourselves within the bounds of Blakely using our constitutional power to review and revise sentences. Ind. Const. art. VII, § 4.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on October 5, 2005 11:09 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions