Aggravated Sentencing Blakely v. Washington—Practical Implications for State Sentencing Systems


This summer, the Supreme Court sent the criminal justice systems in perhaps half of the states, and the federal system, into a state of simmering unrest. Blakely v. Washington cast doubt on two decades of efforts to channel judicial discretion in sentencing by finding that the Sixth Amendment forbids a judge to increase a criminal sentence based on facts not found by a jury beyond a reasonable doubt, even when those sentences are well short of statutory maximums. This report offers an examination of which state systems are affected and the options available to policymakers in affected states.


Photo by Lucy Nicholson (REUTERS)

People in Jail and Prison in Spring 2021

Vera Institute of Justice (Vera) researchers collected data on the number of people in local jails and state and federal prisons throughout 2020 and into spring 2021. Vera researchers estimated the incarcerated population using a sample of approximately 1,600 jail jurisdictions, 50 states, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the U.S. Marshals Service (U ...

  • Jacob Kang-Brown, Chase Montagnet, Jasmine Heiss
June 07, 2021