WA Supreme Court: Consecutive Sentences by Court Okay
State v. Vance Vance did bad things to children and was sentenced by a jury to a lot of time for each count charged. He argued the finding of facts necessary to sentence him to consecutive, rather than concurrent sentences ran afoul of Blakely. However, the United States Supreme Court essentially ruled directly on this issue and held that the consecutive/concurrent facts may be found by the court and such findings do not run afoul of the mandate of Blakely that exceptional sentence facts be found by the jury.
Do I agree with this? Not really. Seems a weird distinction for the U.S. Supreme Court to make. Do I think Washington Courts had any other choice given the United States Supreme Court precedent? Not really. We would have to make changes to our constitution or our statutory scheme for that to happen. Though the Court didn't engage in this, a Gunwall analysis would probably merit the same result.