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April 12, 2005

Contrasting sentencing politics

Commenting on my talk yesterday at Minnesota Law School about forging a new sentencing politics (details here), Professor Richard Frase rightly commented that the politics of sentencing at the state level is much more balanced than at the federal level.  Professor Rachel Barkow makes the same astute point in her forthcoming Columbia article on "Federalism and the Politics of Sentencing."

A number of events today document the contrast between sentencing politics at the state and federal levels.  The development and hearing on H.R. 1528, the federal drug sentencing bill which includes the Booker fix provisions (basics here, commentary here and here and here), reveals that the "tough-on-crime" politics of recent years still has purchase in the federal system.  But from the states we get the news from TalkLeft here that the New York State Assembly Codes Committee today defeated a bill to reinstate New York's death penalty, and news from Grits for Breakfast here that a conservative think tank in Texas is actively discussing "how to increase the effectiveness of alternatives to incarceration that will play a greater role in the state's criminal justice system."

April 12, 2005 at 04:30 PM | Permalink

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