State v. Brown

In State v. Brown, 205 Ariz. 325, 70 P.3d 454 (App. 2003), vacated by 209 Ariz. 200, 99 P.3d 15 (2004), the Court held that Apprendi did not require a jury trial to establish aggravating factors because the use of such factors did not result in a sentence exceeding the statutory maximum. Relying on several post-Apprendi Arizona decisions, the court noted that "Arizona courts have found no constitutional problem when a judge's post-trial factual finding may have affected the sentence but did not expose the defendant to a sentence exceeding the prescribed statutory maximum for purposes of Apprendi." Id. at 329, P13, 70 P.3d at 458. The Brown court concluded that: Unlike Apprendi and Ring II, this case does not present a situation in which a judge-made factual finding, not found by the jury or admitted in a plea agreement, will expose the defendant to a sentence exceeding the statutory maximum. Regardless of how many aggravating circumstances the respondent judge might find under 13-702(C), the maximum sentence McMullen could receive under 13-702.01 would be 12.5 years, in accordance with both the applicable statutes and the plea agreement. Id. at 333, P27, 70 P.3d at 462.