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December 10, 2004

Lots of friday afternoon news

Heading into the weekend, there are lots of sentencing stories to note and track that have nothing to do with Blakely.  Here is a quick round-up:

  • The Christian Science Monitor has this thoughtful article connecting the recent changes to the Rockefeller drug laws passed by the New York legislature this week (details here and here) to the "growing movement in dozens of states to rethink how they deal with nonviolent drug offenders." 

  • Gina Holland has this helpful AP report about the Supreme Court's cert. grant in Wilkinson v. Austin, a case from Ohio concerning the procedures required before a prisoner can be transferred to a SuperMax prison.  (Shameless OSU plug: This will be the third Supreme Court prisoner case this term to be argued by my colleague, OSU Professor and now Ohio State Solicitor Doug Cole.)

  • Gina Holland also has this report about the Supreme Court's cert. grant in Medellin v. Dretke, which concerns the rights of foreign nationals on death row. (Another shameless OSU plug: my colleague OSU Professor John Quigley filed an amicus brief in support of cert. in this case, and he is a national leader on this issue.)

  • Marty Lederman at SCOTUSblog is reporting here that Chief Justice Rehnquist will swear in President Bush at his January inauguration.  Some folks have been speculating that the Chief's health might be impacting the Court's decision-making in Booker and Fanfan, and we now have another tea leaf to read.

December 10, 2004 at 05:15 PM | Permalink


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Here's a sentencing question.

How does one weigh the advantages and disadvantages of accepting a plea bargain if indeed one is innocent? Unfortunately, the truth isn't guaranteed to set one free. Any thoughts?

Posted by: Jeannie | Dec 10, 2004 10:56:02 PM

To me, the issue of protecting an innocent citizen charged with a crime is the very basis upon which our system was designed. This is a sentencing law and policy site, so I assume most readers here are interested in this matter. The system has corrupted itself over time to where an innocent person doesn't stand much of a chance to get justice, because the real assumption is guilt. The system has been turned on its head, and we are playing at the fringes with Apprendi Blakely etc. Not that just sentencing for the guilty is not important, but what of the original and most basic tenets of our American system of jurisprudence. The silence on this is truly deafening.

Posted by: Jeannie | Dec 13, 2004 7:13:51 AM

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