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August 22, 2005

A call for USSC to focus on racial disparity

As detailed in this post, back in June the US Sentencing Commission issued a notice seeking input on possible priority policy issues and asked to receive public comment by August 15, 2005.  Responding to that call, The Sentencing Project has submitted to the USSC a set of thoughtful comments focused on racial disparity issues.  The submission, which can be accessed at this link, includes the following potent recommendations:

  • Revisit the impact of mandatory minimums, an issue which has not been assessed since the Commission's 1991 study
  • Analyze the effects of plea bargaining by race, including the connection between factors of criminal history and mandatory minimums
  • Assess the use of substantial assistance departures by race
  • Analyze the effects of criminal history on sentencing severity, including any possible effects of racially biased law enforcement practices
  • Establish a procedure for developing Racial/Ethnic Impact Statements to accompany proposed sentencing modifications in order to project the effects of sentencing policy on racial disparity

August 22, 2005 at 02:26 PM | Permalink

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