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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

244.10 Sentencing hearing; deviation from guidelines.

Subdivision 1. Sentencing hearing. Whenever a person is convicted of a felony, the court, upon motion of either the defendant or the state, shall hold a sentencing hearing. The hearing shall be scheduled so that the parties have adequate time to prepare and present arguments regarding the issue of sentencing. The parties may submit written arguments to the court prior to the date of the hearing and may make oral arguments before the court at the sentencing hearing. Prior to the hearing, the court shall transmit to the defendant or the defendant's attorney and the prosecuting attorney copies of the presentence investigation report.

At the conclusion of the sentencing hearing or within 20 days thereafter, the court shall issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law regarding the issues submitted by the parties, and shall enter an appropriate order.

Subd. 2. Deviation from guidelines. Whether or not a sentencing hearing is requested pursuant to subdivision 1, the district court shall make written findings of fact as to the reasons for departure from the Sentencing Guidelines in each case in which the court imposes or stays a sentence that deviates from the Sentencing Guidelines applicable to the case.

Subd. 2a. Repealed, 2005 c 136 art 16 s 16; Renumbered subd 8

Subd. 3. Repealed, 2005 c 136 art 16 s 16; Renumbered subd 9

Subd. 4. Aggravated departures. In bringing a motion for an aggravated sentence, the state is not limited to factors specified in the Sentencing Guidelines provided the state provides reasonable notice to the defendant and the district court prior to sentencing of the factors on which the state intends to rely.

Subd. 5. Procedures in cases where state intends to seek an aggravated departure. (a) When the prosecutor provides reasonable notice under subdivision 4, the district court shall allow the state to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to a jury of 12 members the factors in support of the state's request for an aggravated departure from the Sentencing Guidelines as provided in paragraph (b) or (c).

(b) The district court shall allow a unitary trial and final argument to a jury regarding both evidence in support of the elements of the offense and evidence in support of aggravating factors when the evidence in support of the aggravating factors:

(1) would be admissible as part of the trial on the elements of the offense; or

(2) would not result in unfair prejudice to the defendant.

The existence of each aggravating factor shall be determined by use of a special verdict form.

Upon the request of the prosecutor, the court shall allow bifurcated argument and jury deliberations.

(c) The district court shall bifurcate the proceedings, or impanel a resentencing jury, to allow for the production of evidence, argument, and deliberations on the existence of factors in support of an aggravated departure after the return of a guilty verdict when the evidence in support of an aggravated departure:

(1) includes evidence that is otherwise inadmissible at a trial on the elements of the offense; and

(2) would result in unfair prejudice to the defendant.

Subd. 6. Defendants to present evidence and argument. In either a unitary or bifurcated trial under subdivision 5, a defendant shall be allowed to present evidence and argument to the jury or factfinder regarding whether facts exist that would justify an aggravated durational departure. A defendant is not allowed to present evidence or argument to the jury or factfinder regarding facts in support of a mitigated departure during the trial, but may present evidence and argument in support of a mitigated departure to the judge as factfinder during a sentencing hearing.

Subd. 7. Waiver of jury determination. The defendant may waive the right to a jury determination of whether facts exist that would justify an aggravated sentence. Upon receipt of a waiver of a jury trial on this issue, the district court shall determine beyond a reasonable doubt whether the factors in support of the state's motion for aggravated departure exist.

Subd. 8. Notice of information regarding predatory offenders. (a) Subject to paragraph (b), in any case in which a person is convicted of an offense and the presumptive sentence under the Sentencing Guidelines is commitment to the custody of the commissioner of corrections, if the court grants a dispositional departure and stays imposition or execution of sentence, the probation or court services officer who is assigned to supervise the offender shall provide in writing to the following the fact that the offender is on probation and the terms and conditions of probation:

(1) a victim of and any witnesses to the offense committed by the offender, if the victim or the witness has requested notice; and

(2) the chief law enforcement officer in the area where the offender resides or intends to reside.

The law enforcement officer, in consultation with the offender's probation officer, may provide all or part of this information to any of the following agencies or groups the offender is likely to encounter: public and private educational institutions, day care establishments, and establishments or organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender. The law enforcement officer, in consultation with the offender's probation officer, also may disclose the information to individuals the officer believes are likely to be victimized by the offender. The officer's belief shall be based on the offender's pattern of offending or victim preference as documented in the information provided by the Department of Corrections or Department of Human Services.

The probation officer is not required under this subdivision to provide any notice while the offender is placed or resides in a residential facility that is licensed under section 241.021 or 245A.02, subdivision 14, if the facility staff is trained in the supervision of sex offenders.

(b) Paragraph (a) applies only to offenders required to register under section 243.166, as a result of the conviction.

(c) The notice authorized by paragraph (a) shall be limited to data classified as public under section 13.84, subdivision 6, unless the offender provides informed consent to authorize the release of nonpublic data or unless a court order authorizes the release of nonpublic data.

(d) Nothing in this subdivision shall be interpreted to impose a duty on any person to use any information regarding an offender about whom notification is made under this subdivision.

Subd. 9. Computation of criminal history score. If the defendant contests the existence of or factual basis for a prior conviction in the calculation of the defendant's criminal history score, proof of it is established by competent and reliable evidence, including a certified court record of the conviction.

HIST: 1978 c 723 art 1 s 10; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 520 s 1; 1996 c 408 art 5 s 6; 2000 c 311 art 2 s 13; 2005 c 136 art 3 s 18; art 16 s 3-8,13; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 17

* NOTE: Subdivisions 4, 5, 6, and 7, as added by Laws 2005, *chapter 136, article 16, sections 3, 4, 5, and 6, expire *February 1, 2007. Laws 2005, chapter 136, article 16, sections *3, 4, 5, and 6, the effective dates.