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WPIC 300.29 Aggravating Circumstance—Rapid Recidivism [RCW 9.94A.535(3)(t)]

11A WAPRAC WPIC 300.29Washington Practice Series TMWashington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal

11A Wash. Prac., Pattern Jury Instr. Crim. WPIC 300.29 (5th Ed)
Washington Practice Series TM
Washington Pattern Jury Instructions--Criminal
December 2021 Update
Washington State Supreme Court Committee on Jury Instructions
Part XVI. Exceptional Sentences—Aggravating Circumstances
WPIC CHAPTER 300. Exceptional Sentences—Aggravating Circumstances
WPIC 300.29 Aggravating Circumstance—Rapid Recidivism [RCW 9.94A.535(3)(t)]
(The WPI Committee believes that no further explanation of this aggravating circumstance is required.)
For the aggravating circumstance of rapid recidivism, use the applicable bracketed clause in WPIC 300.02 (Aggravating Circumstance Procedure—Factors Alleged—Unitary Trial) or WPIC 300.06 (Aggravating Circumstance Procedure—Factors Alleged—Bifurcated Trial or Stand-Alone Sentencing Proceeding).
RCW 9.94A.535(3)(t).
This aggravating circumstance was added to the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA) in 2005. The accompanying legislative history indicates that the statutory language was designed to codify existing common law aggravating circumstances. Laws of 2005, Chapter 68, § 1 (effective April 15, 2005).
A particularly short period of time between offenses is a factor that was not considered by the Legislature in setting SRA standard ranges. When a defendant re-offends quickly, he or she may merit a harsher sentence. See, e.g., State v. Butler, 75 Wn.App. 47, 876 P.2d 481 (1994) (aggravating circumstance of rapid recidivism); State v. George, 67 Wn.App. 217, 834 P.2d 664 (1992) (aggravating circumstance as to parole status), overruled on other grounds, State v. Ritchie, 126 Wn.2d 388, 894 P.2d 1308 (1995); State v. Smith, 58 Wn.App. 621, 794 P.2d 541 (1990) (aggravating circumstance as to parole status), reversed on other grounds, State v. Barnes, 117 Wn.2d 701, 818 P.2d 1088 (1991). Commission of a crime six months after release is too long to constitute “rapid recidivism.” State v. Combs, 156 Wn.App. 502, 232 P.3d 1179 (2010).
The statutory presumption is that this aggravating circumstance will be presented to the jury in a separate, post-verdict proceeding. RCW 9.94A.537(4). This presumption may be overcome if the evidence supporting this aggravating circumstance is part of the res gestae of the charged crime, if the evidence is otherwise admissible in trial of the charged crime, and if the court finds that the probative value of the evidence of the aggravating circumstance is not substantially outweighed by its prejudicial effect on the jury's ability to determine guilt or innocence for the underlying crime.
For further discussion of this aggravating circumstance, see Fine, 13B Washington Practice, Criminal Law and Sentencing, section 47:22 (3d ed.).
[Current as of April 2019.]
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