April 12, 2005
A day for sentencing hearings
The US Sentencing Commission had a hearing scheduled for this morning which, as revealed in this notice and in the written testimony linked here, was intended to focus only on proposed guideline amendments concerning identity theft, antitrust and steroids offenses. But, with the news yesterday that the House is now working on a broad Booker fix (basics here, commentary here), I suspect the USSC hearing had some extra drama. I encourage anyone in attendance to report any interesting developments from this morning's USSC meeting.
The hearings inside the Beltway continue this afternoon with the House Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security conducting at 1pm a legislative hearing on H.R. 1528, the drug sentencing bill which includes the Booker fix provisions. I believe that the hearing can be watched live via this official website. But, as I noted before here, the listed witnesses were clearly called to testify on the drug sentencing provisions of the bill, and it does not appear that anyone is to testify on the Booker fix provisions.
Following this afternoon's hearing, the House Subcommittee has scheduled a markup of H.R. 1528, the drug sentencing bill which includes the Booker fix and is called "Defending America's Most Vulnerable: Safe Access to Drug Treatment and Child Protection Act of 2005," and also on H.R. 1279, the gang sentencing bill which is called the "Gang Deterrence and Community Protection Act of 2005." FAMM provides more details on both bills here and here.
UPDATE: The National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers now has this coverage of the proposed Booker fix.
April 12, 2005 at 10:56 AM | Permalink
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According to NADCL summary, aside from all the other anti-Blakely/Booker restrictions on judges, below guidelines sentences must be supported by "clear and convincing evidence"- What a bunch of hypocrits! So how about requiring that standard for guidelines imposed sentences and enhancements rather than using the preponderance standard?? It is pretty obvious the DOJ or ex-DOJ wrote this one up. Absolute and unquestionable authority to the DOJ and then throw away the key. This is a farce- why don't they just legislate getting rid of judges and trials already rather than continuing this game-- at least we'll all know where we really stand as citizens.
Posted by: NL | Apr 12, 2005 1:55:26 PM