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January 5, 2006

A pigskin guidelines omen?

Texas_longhornsSo, is it just a coincidence that the Texas Longhorns win the National Championship in the year that the US Sentencing Guidelines Manual has a burnt orange cover?  Whether fate or fortuity, I'm glad the big game lived up to the hype.  Perhaps having swing-voting Justice Sandra Day O'Connor help with the opening coin flip ensured we would get a game with lots of momentum swings back and forth.  (Relatedly, considering that my Buckeyes did me proud and that the Nittany Lions won a thriller, I know there are a lot of sentencing/football fans who will have big smiles for quite some time after this exciting bowl season.)

In addition to now wanting next year's Guidelines Manual to be Scarlet and Gray, I cannot help but wonder if Jamie Olis is now especially disappointed that his resentencing has been postponed.  The old canard about discretionary sentencing was that a defendant's fate could turn on whether the judge's breakfast put the judge in a pleasant or foul mood.  On the assumption that everyone in Texas will be in a pleasant mood after Wednesday's amazing game, Thursday would probably be a good day to be sentenced in the Lone Star State.

January 5, 2006 at 02:35 AM | Permalink


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Doug, Jamie Olis may actually have caught a break. Judge Lake is an alum of Texas A&M. ;^).

Posted by: Tom K. | Jan 5, 2006 8:39:46 AM

Professor Berman: As a faithful and appreciative reader of your blog, I must call your attention to the fact that the current (effective 11/15/05) Guidelines have a white cover (the same as the Longhorn jerseys last night), but the cover does have burnt orange printing!! Justin L. Quackenbush, Sr. U.S.D.C. Judge, E. D. Wash.

Posted by: Justin Quackenbush | Jan 5, 2006 4:50:16 PM

As a federal prosecutor, my coworkers and I have become expert in describing the colors used for each new additon of the guidelines manual. The color in question is commonly recognized as baby crap brown, not Texas orange. I have this on good authority. I hope this helps.

And my bet for the color next year is raw umber.

Posted by: Steve D | Jan 5, 2006 11:09:15 PM

As one who not long ago was intimately familiar with the various shades of baby crap, let me suggest that your description should be modified to make clear that it is only pre-solid-food baby crap which has a color so light.

In the wake of Booker, when the guidelines have been re-born, analogies to babies seem fitting. Thus, I predict next year we will have a toddler-friendly color.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 6, 2006 10:02:03 AM

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