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Blakely vs Washington 542 U.S. 296 (2004)In 2003 Ralph Blakely pleaded guilty to the kidnapping of his estranged wife Yolanda Blakely and minor son. Upon reaching a plea agreement (in order for Mr. Blakely not to have to register as a sex offender upon release, the state of Washington reduced the charges to 2nd degree kidnapping involving domestic violence and the use of a firearm. The state of Washington recommended a sentence of 49-53 months, which is under Washington’s mandatory sentencing guidelines. The presiding judge heard the testimony of Blakely’s estranged wife and rejected the recommended sentencing and imposed a sentence of 90 months, which is 37 months more than the standard sentencing because the judge felt that the defendant acted with deliberate cruelty. With the addition of more than three years added to his sentence, Ralph Blakely appealed his sentence stating that his 6th amendment rights under Apprendi v. New Jersey, 530 U.S. 466 (2000) were violated. Under these rights, Mr. Blakely had the right to have a