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August 11, 2008

USSC proposes latest priorities and requests public comments

The US Sentencing Commission on its website has now posted here its "Federal Register Notice of proposed priorities and request for public comment." The USSC's homepage explains that as "part of its statutory authority and responsibility to analyze sentencing issues, including operation of the federal sentencing guidelines, ... the Commission is seeking comment on possible priority policy issues for the amendment cycle ending May 1, 2009." The USSC's notice says that "public comment should be received on or before September 8, 2008."

The notice also lists an intriguing set of "tentative priorities," which include:

  • "a study of statutory mandatory minimum penalties";
  • "consideration of alternatives to incarceration";
  • a "multi-year study of the definition of 'crime of violence' used in both statutes and guidelines"

I hope readers will use the comments to get the public comments that the USSC seeks off to a running start.

August 11, 2008 at 08:01 AM | Permalink

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Comments

I am a parent of a now 47 yr old that got sentenced for possession with intent to deliver. She received the maximum sentence which is more severe than some people who commit murder. She has completed every program there is to complete at least once if not more, and has taken the initiative to ask for more. There is no sane reason for her or anybody else to stay in prison that long. She is not a threat to anyone, including herself. She has suffered immensely and paid dearly for what she has done with regard to her livelihood, her relationship with her children and family, and she realizes that fact. She has appeared before the grand jury with a promise of reduced sentence, which has not happened. She is in limbo. She is a good person and needs to get out before she is too old to start over. There is no purpose whatsoever in keeping her or anybody like her in prison for that long. It is a burden to her children, the taxpayers, and does not promote a good feeling toward the "system" in general. It is one that does not work well. She needs to be a productive member of society and support herself. Not have society support her. Enough is enough as far as time goes. It gets to the point that more time isn't going to help anybody. If the system is meant to rehabilitate, then it should release people in that situation that in all essence have been rehabilitated. Murderers and rapists serve less time for committing violent crimes. In the case of drugs charges, the punishment does not begin to fit the crime.

Posted by: Mary | Aug 27, 2008 6:56:12 PM

My nephew and his wife was involved in a drug conspiracy to manufacture Meth. He was sentenced to 20 yrs. with n o parole!! Come on now he was convicted as though he committed murder!! It was just a drug chaRGE, and hes a non violent offener as well as his wife, which she has never been arrested before in her life!! But yet was hammered with 87 months!! They have a 2 yr. old daughter in which our family does everything we can to make sure that she sees both her parents!! This is such a hardship for the family becaues of the gas prices and because the mother is incarcerated so far from home!! They did everything they were suppose to befroe being incarcerated, drug rehab, they both had jobs, they both saw and spoke to their drug counscelor on a daily basis, and they even had a stable home for their 2 yr old daughter!! My nephew didnt have a good childhood but he never committed a violent offense ever!! I just dont see how keeping him in the federal prison will ever help him!!Please dont get me wrong i dont condone what they did but they did not deserve the time they recieved!! Its ludicrous to keep him from raising his daughter! There are child abusers, child molestors and murders and rapists that get less time!! As a taxpayer Iam not interested in paying to keep non-violent offenders incarcerated. Or i dont appreciate keeping them locked up for 20 yrs when they could be court supervised and paying their debt to society on the outside by paying their own taxes!! Its been too too long its time to bring back parole for the non violent offenders and give more good time days!! Our family has to send my nephew money at least once a month because he has verry little pay to be able to buy his neccessities that he needs, meaning things like soap,deordorant, laundry soap, toilet paper, envelopes and stamps! Plus he has to get his own phone cards! Plus when we take their daughter to see her mother we have to pay for the lodgeing, food and gas! My nephew has gotten his G.E.D,is in a cabinet making class,has been head of the laundry department and will soon b e in an engineering class!! Hes doing everything he can to make his life better but will he ever get the chanceto provide for his daughter?? God I hope so!! Well itts been over 20 yrs, its time for a change and a change for the better!! Bring back Federal parole for all the non violent offenders!! My nephews punishment does not fit the crime!!! My nephew and his wife still have a marriage too! Thats pretty good considering the fact that alot of married men and women divorce while incarcerated!! Thay have a very strong bond!! And both love their daughter and want to raise her together as a family!!

Posted by: marsha kay cook | Aug 28, 2008 12:21:07 AM

Thanks for the opportunity to give comment
regarding issues that are heavy on our
hearts. We have real concerns that our
daughter is incarcerated for 70 months for
a first offense. No weapon involved crime.
Yes we know she broke the law but awaiting
her sentencing she was living with us, got
a job & moved quickly to an assistent manager
position w/Pamida. Prior to the time of her
self surrender to Pekin she was tested many times & was drug free. The Pekin facility
is very crowded & there should be away for
Anissa to be punished i.e. wear an ankel
bracelet & have a job & be a tax payer
rather than costing taxpayers. Parole for
federal inmates should be reinstated. We
know if a work release was granted she could
return to live with us & go back to work immediately. Mandate drug testing daily or
weekly if anyone has fear of her breaking
the law again.

Posted by: Mary A. Sears | Sep 1, 2008 5:47:13 PM

I AGREE THAT THE LAWS ARE TO STRONG MY DAUGHTER WAS GIVEN THIRTHTEEN YEARS AS A FIRST TIME OFFENSE. I DONT FEEL THAT IT WAS JUSTFIED,BECAUSE SHE COULD OF BEEN GIVEN PROBATION,BOOT CAMP,LIGHTER SENTENCE ESPICALLY AS A FIRST TIME OFFENDER.THE LAWS OR TO HARSH FOR DRUGS MORE THAN THEY ARE FOR MURDERS.I FEEL THE LAWS SHOULD BE CHANGE AND REVIEWED FOR COCAINE SENTENTCING.

Posted by: CHANETTA DOXY | Sep 6, 2008 6:53:36 PM

My mentally ill son was accused of sexual abuse by a 15 year old stepdaughter. He was sentenced to 24 years. He did not know how to defend himself due to mentall illness. An old, old juvenile adjudication was used from 1984 to call him a persistant sexual offender and double his sentence. I don't think juvenile adjudications should be used since, way back then, the who judicial system was different.

Posted by: Donna Johnson | Nov 22, 2008 9:10:54 PM

I AGREE THAT THE LAWS ARE TO STRONG MY DAUGHTER WAS GIVEN THIRTHTEEN YEARS AS A FIRST TIME OFFENSE. I DONT FEEL THAT IT WAS JUSTFIED,BECAUSE SHE COULD OF BEEN GIVEN PROBATION,BOOT CAMP,LIGHTER SENTENCE ESPICALLY AS A FIRST TIME OFFENDER.THE LAWS OR TO HARSH FOR DRUGS MORE THAN THEY ARE FOR MURDERS.I FEEL THE LAWS SHOULD BE CHANGE AND REVIEWED FOR COCAINE SENTENTCING...

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