Ten years after the Supreme Court issued its Blakely decision, American sentencing law and policy feel very different. In 2004, many believed modern sentencing systems were destined always to be on a legislatively driven, inexorable march to ever-greater severity. A decade later, sentencing remains the center of a vigorous debate about what we want from our criminal justice system and even who we are as a society, but the terms of the debate now largely revolve around how much to lower prison terms rather than how much to raise them. This essay highlights the continued constitutional fallout from Blakely, and the current policy debates that have come to define modern sentencing systems.

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