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September 2, 2008

The law blogosphere continues to grow...

with the appearance of the Marquette University Law School faculty blog.  I will be following this blog regularly, in part because I expect Professor Michael O’Hear to post with some regularity on federal criminal justice matters.  In fact, he already has this post on the recent Carter case, titled "A Galling Case in the Seventh Circuit," which ends with these potent insights:

Those who practice criminal law in the federal courts will find much to interest them in Carter (for instance, the discussion of the use of comparative statistics in litigating sentences) but what strikes me most deeply about the case is the way it illustrates the crazy disproportionality of the federal criminal justice system. We live in a odd world when two years in prison is regarded as an extraordinary act of mercy for a first-time, nonviolent offender whose crime was largely technical in nature.  It is odder still to realize that the sentencing guidelines called for more than seven years in this case–especially considering that the average sentence for violent felonies in this country is only about six years (which also happens to be about what Mr. Carter–the real crook in the story–received).  Why the Department of Justice felt it would be a good use of taxpayer resources to appeal Carter’s sentence (and, if successful, to imprison her for seven years) is a mystery–this seems to me a case of carrying an attractive abstract principle (sentences should be imposed in a uniform, objective manner) to absurd lengths.

Those interested in law professor blogging also will want to check out this post, titled "Teaching, Scholarship, Service … and Blogging? Decanal Encouragement of Law Faculty Blogging."

September 2, 2008 at 03:02 PM | Permalink


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