June 23, 2005
Further discussion and criticism of Gonzales speech
I have raised a lot of questions here and here about AG Alberto Gonzales' Tuesday speech advocating a Booker fix in the form of "the construction of a minimum guideline system" (basics here and background here). I am now pleased to see that the media and the blogsphere are discussing and criticizing the speech.
I have already found two potent editorials assailing the Gonzales call for mandatory minimum guidelines:
- This piece from Athens Banner-Herald laments Gonzales' "shrill tone" and "the inherent flaw in imposing one-size-fits-all rules on our courts," while asserting we "must continue to give our judges the freedom to exercise their judgment in assessing every case and handing down proportionate sentences."
- This piece from the Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil concludes that "the Supreme Court got it right: Federal judges should be free to sentence convicted criminals as they see fit, and they should be subject to reversal if appeals courts find them unreasonable. Sentences should fit the crime, not a politician's preconceived, one-size-fits-all notion."
Relatedly, this article from North Dakota quotes US District Judge Rodney Webb calling Gonzales' use of a few examples of lower sentences "a cheap shot." And this AP story connects the speech to the recent amicus filing in the Angelos mandatory minimum case, noting that only a "day after U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales said too many criminals are getting light sentences, four of his predecessors told a federal court Wednesday that mandatory sentencing laws can result in unconstitutionally long prison terms."
From the blogsphere, Ellen Podgor at White Collar Crime Prof Blog has some very potent comments about the speech which closes with a great quote from James Madison. And the Gonzales speech has also generated a nice debate over at PrawfsBlawg.
June 23, 2005 at 11:50 AM | Permalink
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