Blakely v. Washington | Definition

Blakely v. Washington

Blakely v. Washington was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States in 2004. In this case, the Court addressed the issue of whether a defendant has the right to a jury trial when a judge enhances their sentence beyond the maximum sentence provided for by state law based on facts that were not found by the jury or admitted by the defendant.

The Court ruled that a defendant does have the right to a jury trial in such circumstances, as the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees the right to a trial by an impartial jury. The Court held that, under the Sixth Amendment, a defendant has the right to have a jury decide any facts that increase the maximum sentence for their crime.

This case had significant implications for the criminal justice system, as it established that defendants have the right to a jury trial when their sentences are enhanced based on facts that were not found by the jury. This helps to ensure that defendants are not subjected to increased sentences based on facts that have not been proven beyond a reasonable doubt.


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