Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Some defendants will have cake, others will not

The judges in the District of Puerto Rico have instructed the US Attorneys Office not to include more than "x" defendants in a single indictment. Thus, you often have the same conspiracy charged in two indictments, each assigned to a different judge. I just learned today that in a case involving a large credit card fraud conspiracy, in which defendants were divided into two indictments, each before a different judge, and sentencing hearings were being held for the various defendants. Those before one Judge had Blakely applied to their sentences (i.e., no upward adjustments other than based on facts admitted by defendant), whereas the Judge handling the related case informed counsel that he would not apply Blakely unless a higher Court directed him to do so. I hope the ones before the first Judge were not the more culpable defendants.