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November 8, 2004

Federal response to Blakely/Booker

No matter when we see Booker and Fanfan, everyone is gearing up for how best to respond to Blakely in the federal system (assuming Blakely applies).  As noted before and detailed here, the US Sentencing Commission already has hearings planned for next week and the "purpose of the public hearings is for the Commission to gather testimony from invited witnesses regarding possible changes to the sentencing guidelines."  I started drafting my testimony this weekend, though who knows how a decision in Booker and Fanfan might change my perspectives. 

Meanwhile, I received today a copy of an extremely thoughtful and detailed letter sent last week from the Practitioners' Advisory Group (PAG) to USSC Chair Judge Ricardo Hinojosa concerning a "Recommended Long-Term Legislative Response to Blakely v. Washington."  PAG is endorsing a proposal for "Codified Guidelines" suggested by James Felman (which was first available here and will also be published in the next issue of the Federal Sentencing Reporter).  And PAG's letter to the USSC, downloadable here, provides a comprehensive account and defense of the proposal: Download PAG_Response_to_Blakely.DOC

The PAG letter is a great (though long) read not only for its specific proposals, but also for its interesting discussion of Blakely's applicability to fines, supervised release and its revocation, and other federal sentencing issues.  The PAG letter also concludes with a extended discussion identifying drawbacks to purely advisory guidelines and to the Bowman proposal (which the letter calls "the Statutory Maximum approach").

I suspect at the USSC hearings that there will be a range of proposals put forward, since there seems to be very little consensus about what should happen next in federal sentencing.  I have heard rumors that bills are already drafted and ready to go on Capitol Hill, though I doubt those bills look a lot like what PAG has endorsed.

November 8, 2004 at 01:20 PM | Permalink

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Comments

I read your entry, very informative but this is defintely why I don't want a career in law. Later.

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Posted by: advocate sandra Wright | Oct 20, 2006 12:35:02 PM

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