Courts Find Sentences Unconstitutional
CHARLOTTE — Among the most significant cases the U.S. Supreme Court decided last term was Blakely v. Washington, in which it found portions of Washington state’s criminal sentencing laws were unconstitutional. The court’s reasoning was sweeping, calling into question how courts across the land determine sentences. Last Tuesday, the N.C. Court of Appeals found that the same constitutional problems found in Washington also exist under North Carolina’s system. The case involved Timmy Speight, a Pitt County man appealing two involuntary manslaughter conviction and a driving-while-impaired finding.