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January 12, 2009

What might 2009 have in store for . . . the US Sentencing Commission?

I return to my 2009 "what's in store" series with a focus on the US Sentencing Commission, inspired by the fact that the USSC has its first public meeting of the year tomorrow morning.  As detailed in this official announcement, on the agenda is "Possible Votes to Publish Guideline Amendments and Issues for Comment."  I really have no idea what to expect for proposed guideline amendments, though I expect (and fear) that relatively technical concerns rather than any big bold initiatives will continue to dominate the Commission's work in near future.

That all said, the times are likely soon to be a-changing for the US Sentencing Commission.  It is my understanding from various reliable sources that there will be a new chair for the Commission in the months ahead (even though Judge Ricardo Hinojosa was confirmed in November to serve another term as a Commissioner).  In addition, back in November the Senate confirmed William Carr to start a term as a new Commissioner of the USSC (replacing the now retired John Steer). 

Of course, the new make-up of the USSC is not quite as dramatic as other changes in government personnel this month in DC.  And yet, a new President and new leadership throughout the executive branch (and especially at the Justice Department) will certainly have a profound echo effect inside the nation's one judicial branch agency.  Also, with Senator Jim Webb and perhaps other members of Congress eager to keep talking about sentencing reform, and with federal judges (including SCOTUS Justices) still working through all the implications of Booker, the US Sentencing Commission will surely have plenty to keep it busy throughout 2009.

Some related posts about the US Sentencing Commission:

Other posts so far in the 2009 "what's in store" series:

January 12, 2009 at 10:46 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Does anyone out there know of the 85% going to 65% for federal inmates serving time in prison? I've heard it would take affect in May 2009. Is there any trueth to this? please e-mail me if anyone knows of this change.

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I thought I would find this much earlier considering how good the information is.

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