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September 13, 2004

An amicus report from the ACTL

As I discussed here, I find it ironic that in Booker and Fanfan many questionable arguments are being made in an effort to "save" from Blakely perhaps the only guideline system that does not deserve saving. Additional proof that the federal sentencing system does not deserve saving landed in my mailbox this morning in the form of a report from the American College of Trial Lawyers, which is tellingly titled "United States Sentencing Guidelines 2004: An Experiment That Has Failed."

This press release from ACTL provides background on the substance of the report and the Task Force that wrote it . Though not in the form of an amicus brief, I think the report (available for downloaded below) — which was written by a group with members "who represent all branches of the legal profession involved in the administration of criminal justice" including "sitting and former federal judges, current and former prosecutors and defense counsel" — should be required reading for everyone thinking about Booker, Fanfan, and the future of federal sentencing.
Download actl_failed_ussg_report.pdf

September 13, 2004 at 12:09 PM | Permalink

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Comments

What is the College thinking? It is hard to tell. Their proposal recommends "non-binding guidelines" (p. 35), which sounds like voluntary guidelines. However, in the same sentence, they also state that the judge may "depart for good reasons," (p.35) which sounds more like presumptive guidelines. Which one is it? The College's suggestion for appellate review (p.35) also seems fuzzy and of questionable validity after Blakely.

Posted by: What? | Sep 13, 2004 4:45:16 PM

What is the College thinking? It is hard to tell. Their proposal recommends "non-binding guidelines" (p. 35), which sounds like voluntary guidelines. However, in the same sentence, they also state that the judge may "depart for good reasons," (p.35) which sounds more like presumptive guidelines. Which one is it? The College's suggestion for appellate review (p.35) also seems fuzzy and of questionable validity after Blakely.

Posted by: What | Sep 13, 2004 4:45:39 PM

Is it me, or is there something beyond-Bizarro about the fact that Judge John Martin's name shows up in the list of Task Force members who (ostensibly) contributed to this brief by the College?

Posted by: Loretta | Sep 14, 2004 3:01:11 PM

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