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December 13, 2004

My waiting wish-list

With no decision today, I did not get my wish of an opinion in Booker and Fanfan as a Hanukkah present.  And, unless the Supreme Court surprises us with extra opinions this month, it also seems I wasted my time writing to Santa to ask for a Booker and Fanfan opinion.  But even though it appears we now must all wait until January for a sentencing present from the Supreme Court, other institutions can keep me in a holiday mood by working on this waiting wish-list of mine:

1.  I wish the US Sentencing Commission supplements the fascinating data it has collected here about post-Blakely federal case processing, which could provide a fuller picture of the state of federal sentencing now.

2.  I wish a few state Supreme Courts resolve pending Blakely appeals, in order to further define and refine the many post-Blakely legal questions that need to be resolved (see some background here).  My own perspectives on Blakely (reflected in articles here and here) have been greatly influenced by state court rulings, and the Supreme Court apparently needs all the help it can get.

3.  I wish a few state sentencing commissions (or even the offices of state Attorneys General) provide additional data and analysis on how Blakely is impacting state criminal justice systems.  We get snippets from briefs and news stories, but nothing compares to the systematic analysis that can be done by an effective sentencing commission (as Minnesota's commission has shown).

4. I wish the ABA and the ALI and the Constitution Project and all the other important groups working on sentencing reform can use this extra Booker-free time to gear up for what is likely to be a hectic January.  I was rooting for a decision from SCOTUS now so we might all have a few weeks to mentally process the decision before congressional re-writing of federal sentencing was realistically feasible.  Now I fear we could possibly get a Supreme Court decision and then new federal sentencing legislation in rushed succession in January.

5.  I wish the powers that be in college football could figure out how to create a playoff system.  This mysterious blog sensibly suggests here that I watch a lot of football to keep in good cheer and keep my mind off Booker and Fanfan.  But what really keeps me from being in good cheer is knowing that USSC Chair Judge Hinojosa's beloved Texas Longhorns will not get a chance to prove on the field that they might actually be the best team in college football.  I suppose if the Longhorns take their frustrations out on Michigan in the Rose Bowl, that should suffice for this Buckeye.

December 13, 2004 at 12:00 PM | Permalink

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