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November 18, 2004

Lots of sentencing in the papers

I am feeling a bit of sentencing overload, as I have a lot of commentary percolating about the US Sentencing Commission's hearing this week, and also about Judge Paul Cassell's work in his noteworthy sentencing rulings in Angelos and Visiniaz.  In addition, as I will post soon, there is a lot of Blakely state news to discuss as well.  Fortunately, the press helps cover and comment on some of these matters.

For starters, Gina Holland has helpful this account at law.com of the USSC hearings.  This article correctly observes that the Justice Department essentially backed the "Bowman fix" (or "topless guidelines"), and I will have a lot more on this topic later today.

Meanwhile, the Angelos decision is the subject of continuing coverage in the Salt Lake Tribune, Knight Ridder Newspapers and the New York Times, and broader commentary on the opinion came be found at The Republican and the Cato Institute.  Relatedly, Kemba Smith, a first-time drug offender subject to a long mandatory sentence who was ultimately pardoned by President Clinton, had this op-ed in yesterday's USA Today.

Meanwhile, back in the NY Times, Eighth Circuit Judge Donald Lay has this potent op-ed calling for the establishment of a federal drug courts program.  And, on a different front, this article details that New York state is unlikely to legislatively fix its death penalty statute (which, as detailed here, was declared unconstitutional by New York's highest court on the same day Blakely was decided).

November 18, 2004 at 08:16 AM | Permalink

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