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5 Ohio St. J. Crim. L. [1] (2007-2008)
The Top Ten Things I Learned from Apprendi, Blakely, Booker, Rita, Kimbrough and Gall

handle is hein.journals/osjcl5 and id is 685 raw text is: The Top Ten Things I Learned From
Apprendi, Blakely, Booker, Rita, Kimbrough and Gall
Richard G. Kopf*
As a district judge, I read with interest, and even tried to follow, the Supreme
Court's sentencing opinions in Apprendi, Blakely, Booker, Rita, Kimbrough and Gall.
With tongue partly in cheek, here, in descending order, are the top ten things I learned
from those missives:
10.    Following the Court's approach, always put off to tomorrow what you can do
today.
9.     You don't need experience in actually sentencing people in order to totally
screw up the law of sentencing. It is telling and painfully obvious that not a
single justice ever had to look a federal defendant in the eye while not
knowing what law to apply.
8.     Footnote 9 in Blakely (The Federal Guidelines are not before us, and we
express no opinion on them.) is the biggest practical joke in the history of
American law. See lesson One below.
7.     The merits and remedial opinions in Booker satisfy George Orwell's
definition of Doublethink.  That is, the two opinions, and Justice
Ginsburg's swing vote to make both the law, reveal the power of holding
two contradictory beliefs in one's mind simultaneously, and accepting both of
them.
6.     Never impose a sentence that is too harsh or too lenient. To quote Baby Bear,
make it just right or, perhaps more importantly, to satisfy Justice Breyer,
make sure it is just reasonable.
5.     Some sentencing judges used to take the Supreme Court seriously, but that
got harder and harder beginning with and following Apprendi.
United States District Judge, District of Nebraska.
Preferred Citation: Richard G. Kopf, The Top Ten Things ILearned From Apprendi, Blakely, Booker,
Rita, Kimbrough, andGall, OSJCL AMIcI: VIEWS FROM THE FIELD (Jan. 2008), http://osjcl.blogspot.com.

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