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November 9, 2006

Pondering the USSC's upcoming crack/powder hearing

As first noted here, the US Sentencing Commission has scheduled for next week a Public Hearing on "Cocaine and Federal Sentencing Policy -- 2006."  This USSC press release details that this important hearing will be all day on Tuesday, November 14 at the Georgetown University Law Center.  I still have not seen information about who will be testifying, but the press release says the USSC plans to "hear from representatives of law enforcement, the legal community, the judiciary, interested community groups, and the scientific community to address issues associated with federal cocaine sentencing policy." 

This hearing was sure to be interesting even without new wrinkles from current events.  But, just in the last week, the Supreme Court has taken up a crack sentencing case in Claiborne and now control of Congress has changed hands.  I cannot help but wonder how the Justice Department's approach to this hearing might be impacted by these recent developments.  Similarly, what the US Sentencing Commission wants and hopes to achieve through this hearing may be a lot different today than it was just last week.

Some recent related posts:

UPDATE:  The USSC's website now has the agenda for its crack hearing at this link.  The agenda shows eight panels and over 20 speakers (all of whom are leaders on these issues).  Should make for quite a day.  I am hoping this event will end up getting a lot of press, but only time will tell.

November 9, 2006 at 10:40 AM | Permalink

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