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February 9, 2005

Still more praise for Booker

As the folks inside the Beltway get started with hearings to examine Booker, I think it is worthwhile to spotlight again that so many folks outside the Beltway are praising the state of federal sentencing after Booker.  As detailed in materials linked here and here and here and here and here, nearly 50 editorial pages and commentators have expressed support for Booker's dual (or should I say dueling) holdings.

Today we get more of the same from the Des Moines Register through this forceful editorial which is focused particularly on the post-Booker decision of Judge Pratt in Myers.  In the words of the editorial:

Judges must be allowed to use their training and instincts based on real lives. If they are wrong, an appeals court is in place to correct decisions upon review. It is far better that judgments be made this way rather than by a congressionally appointed commission that establishes inflexible rules and renders judges little more than paper handlers.

Relatedly, noted (and often controversial) commentator John Lott, Jr. adds his voice to the debate in this interesting commentary entitled "Eliminating Sentencing Guidelines Would Make Penalties More Equal."  Here's a snippet from his piece:

The Guidelines were originally set up in 1987 to ensure fairness and rational organization in criminal sentencing. But they have failed, instead increasing disparities and making an illogical hodgepodge of rules....  The Guidelines have created more sentencing disparity because they focus solely on just one of the penalties that criminals face: imprisonment.

February 9, 2005 at 09:06 AM | Permalink


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