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Supreme Court strikes down California's sentencing law

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 that California's judges should no longer be able to give tougher sentences based on elements not found by a jury. According to current sentencing laws, a judge can augment a sentence based on "circumstances in aggravation" found by the judge. The Supreme Court decision could mean shorter sentences for thousands of current state prisoners.

The lead, "The U.S. Supreme Court struck down California's sentencing law on Monday and strongy reaffirmed the court's view that judges may not impose tough prison time based on factors that have not been determined by a jury," works perfecty. It states all of the most important information, although it seems a little long.

The New York Times provides a more detailed story, mentioning other pertinent Supreme Court cases, as well as the history of the California law. It was originally started as a way to make sentences more uniform, with three possible sentences. The middle sentence would be deemed correct unless the judge has evidence to make the sentence eithe shorter or longer.

I think that the NY Times story is better because it details other cases that relate, showing that the California law was under increasing scrutiny.