Washington v. Brown

Ronald Brown appealed an unpublished Court of Appeals decision affirming his exceptional sentence for two counts of first degree robbery and one count of first degree burglary. At his first sentencing hearing, the trial court decided not to impose an exceptional sentence on his original convictions. On appeal, four of his seven original convictions were vacated. Upon resentencing, the trial court exercised its discretion and imposed an exceptional sentence above the sentencing range for his remaining convictions. Brown argued the decision to impose an exceptional sentence on remand was collaterally estopped, that the exceptional sentence is the result of judicial vindictiveness, and that the State's recommendation for an exceptional sentence was the result of prosecutorial vindictiveness. The Washington Supreme Court held that collateral estoppel did not apply when a court imposed an exceptional sentence at resentencing based on the "free crime" aggravator when it chose not to impose an exceptional sentence at the first sentencing. Furthermore, the Court held that a presumption o f vindictiveness was not triggered when a judge imposes a shorter overall sentences than the original, or when a prosecutor recommends an exceptional sentence at resentencing when it did not recommend such a sentence at the original sentencing. In sum, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals. View "Washington v. Brown" on Justia Law