January 20, 2005
More praise of judges judging
Continuing the parade of newspaper editorials praising Booker (many of the prior editorials are noted here), Howard Bashman has links here to a few more pieces praising the Supreme Court's decision which will allow judges to do more judging. I can also add to the growing list of pro-Booker editorials this piece from Montana.
Relatedly, continuing my praise of the judicious work done in Judge Adelman's Ranum opinion today, Ellen Podgor over at the White Collar Crime Prof Blog has this thoughtful post on the decision. She astutely concludes:
This [Ranum] decision provides a wonderful model for white collar decisions in the post-Booker world. It demonstrates that white collar offenders will not skate from jail time as a result of the Supreme Court's ruling. It also demonstrates how judicial discretion can offer reasoned analysis to fit the specific circumstances of a case.
January 20, 2005 at 12:40 AM | Permalink
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Judge Adelman certainly made a reasoned decision. HOWEVER, have we forgotten the other concerns about treatment across offender types. The Ranum defendant was a well-educated professional person in the middle/upper-middle class. No doubt many of us (including the Judge) could identify with him and his circumstances. As a result, he got a break. Perhaps that is appropriate. But what about the lower class thief/embezzler who does not have as much to lose (i.e. family, job prospects in a regulated industry)? Does that person deserve the longer sentence he might well get? These are legitimate concerns that motivated Congress more than 20 years ago. We can disagree with the rigidity of Congress's resulting policy choices, but will it actually be better for individual judges to be making their own, often conflicting, policy choices. If reasonableness review really means reasonableness review, a sentence of 1 year and a day, 2 years and two days or the guidelines-recommended three years will be affirmed. This is a problem across cases.
Posted by: yo | Jan 20, 2005 9:21:38 AM