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July 22, 2008

What does the future hold for the US Sentencing Commission?

I just learned today that the Senate Judiciary Committee, at a hearing scheduled for tomorrow will be considering the executive nomination of "William B. Carr, Jr., to be Member of the United States Sentencing Commission."   It is my understanding that Mr. Carr has been nominated to replace Commission John Steer, who apparently has already official resigned from the USSC after distinguished service for more than two decades with the judicial agency.  (Disappointingly, I cannot find any official announcement of Commissioner Steer's retirement, but this list of Commissioners dated June 2008 does not have his name listed.)

News of this notable transition on the USSC has me wondering again what's on tap for the Commission.  The agency continue to do a great job with data runs, as evidenced by its recent posting of July 2008 data on post-Gall/Kimbrough sentencing and on crack retroactivity motions.  Also, the USSC just completed last week a terrific symposium on Alternatives to Incarceration (though I am still awaiting some on-line posting of testimony or other reports on the event ).  But, though surely very busy while dealing with the fall-out from recent SCOTUS rulings and its recent crack actions, the USSC has been pretty quiet about what it may be planning for the future.

Of course, with a new administration on the horizon and crime and sentencing issues always fraught with political overtones and under-currents, perhaps less is more from the USSC these days.  Still, a sentencing nerd like me cannot help but speculate about what's up and what's upcoming at the US Sentencing Commission.

July 22, 2008 at 04:52 PM | Permalink


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As far as I am concerned, the only thing good that the USSC does is data runs.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Jul 22, 2008 7:10:16 PM

And so does the Census. And it is an important job.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jul 22, 2008 8:03:36 PM

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