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July 17, 2006

Constitution Project urges post-Booker reforms

With perhaps not enough fanfare, the Constitution Project's Sentencing Initiative last week  released another important report from its blue-ribbon Committee working on post-Booker sentencing reforms.  Details about the new report and access to it are available at this page, and here is a brief official account of the report's mission and particulars:

The Constitution Project's bipartisan Sentencing Initiative [has] issued specific recommendations for improving federal sentencing. The Initiative's Recommendations for Federal Criminal Sentencing in a Post-Booker World, which can be found at this link, provide guidance for simplifying existing sentencing guidelines, improving due process for criminal defendants, and increasing participation by crime victims. They also offer alternative options for an entirely new sentencing scheme.

The blue-ribbon Sentencing Initiative, an ideologically diverse committee co-chaired by Edwin Meese III, Attorney General during the Reagan Administration, and Philip Heymann, Deputy Attorney General during the Clinton Administration, has been examining various aspects of criminal sentencing since 2004.  The committee's latest recommendations were prompted by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last year in U.S. v. Booker, in which the Court ruled that the previously mandatory Federal Sentencing Guidelines must be treated as advisory in order to be constitutional.

According to Co-chair Meese, "The Sentencing Initiative's bipartisan recommendations should guide any attempt to reform our nation's criminal sentencing system.  Simplification of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, combined with improving discovery for defendants and participation by victims, will produce a sentencing scheme that is more fair and effective and that both protects public safety and defendants' constitutional rights."

July 17, 2006 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

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