The attempt of the California Supreme Court and Attorney General to Blakely-proof California's three-tier sentencing system with a dubious analogy to post-Booker federal sentencing was shot down today. The U.S. Supreme Court didn't buy it in a 6-3 decision in Cunningham v. California. The requirement that the upper term could be imposed only on a finding of an aggravating circumstance replaced an earlier system of unfettered discretion in the parole board, after the court sentenced the defendant to an indeterminate term. The determinate sentencing law provided more structure and a more predictable relationship between crime and punishment. Let no good deed go unpunished.
Update: The Governor's statement, in its entirety: "We are working with the Attorney General to determine the impact this decision will have on the state. I support longer sentences for criminals who deserve them. As Governor I will work to ensure that this decision will not be a threat to public safety."