This symposium essay explores the impact of Rita, Gall, and Kimbrough on state and federal sentencing and plea bargaining systems. The Court continues to try to explain how the Sixth Amendment jury trial right limits legislative and judicial control of criminal sentencing. Equally importantly, the opposing sides in this debate have begun to form a stable consensus. These decisions inject more uncertainty in the process and free trial judges to counterbalance prosecutors. Thus, we predict, these decisions will move the balance of plea bargaining power back toward criminal defendants.
Susan R Klein, Stephanos Bibas, The Sixth Amendment and Criminal Sentencing [Symposium: The Future of Self-Incrimination: Fifth Amendment, Confessions, & Guilty Pleas], 30 Cardozo Law Review 775 (2008). View Online