Monday, July 12, 2004

5th Circuit Upholds Constitutionality of Guidelines

Today the 5th Circuit issued its opinion in US v. Pineiro holding that Blakely does not apply to the federal sentencing guidelines, stating as follows:
This court assuredly will not be the final arbiter of whether Blakely applies to the federal Guidelines, but the unremitting press of sentencing appeals requires us to produce a decision. We have undertaken to discern, consistent with our role as an intermediate appellate court, what remains the governing law in the wake of Blakely. Having considered the Blakely decision, prior Supreme Court cases, and our own circuit precedent, we hold that Blakely does not extend to the federal Guidelines and that Pineiro’s sentence did not violate the Constitution. Accordingly, the defendant’s sentence is affirmed.