September 4, 2009
US Sentencing Commmission makes official its ambitious priorities
Back in June, as detailed in this post, the US Sentencing Commission released its "notice of proposed priorities and request for public comment ... for the amendment cycle ending May 1, 2010." As I noted back then, unlike in prior years in which the USSC seemed to be acting as if Booker never happened, this latest set of proposed priorities was much more modern and quite ambitious.
As detailed in this official statement, after "reviewing public comment received pursuant to the notice of proposed priorities," the USSC has now issued its "Notice of final Priorities" for its 2009-2010 amendment cycle. Among the many highlights in this document are the USSC's stated priority to:
- "study ... statutory mandatory minimum penalties, including a review of the operation of the 'safety valve' provision at 18 U.S.C. § 3553(e)"
- "study and report on the appellate standard of review applicable to post-Booker federal sentencing decisions"
- a "review of departures within the guidelines"
- a "study of, and a possible report on, alternatives to incarceration"; and
- a "[r]eview of child pornography offenses"
I am hopeful that the Senate will soon confirm President's pending nominations for the chair position and an open seat on the Commission. The USSC should be and probably needs to be working at full strength in order to be able to move forward effectively on all the priorities.
September 4, 2009 at 10:31 AM | Permalink
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Doug, for those of us not versed in Sentencing Commission minutiae, is there any substance to all this "studying" and "reviewing" going on? Does this mean we can expect guideline amendments on these topics next year or is the "study" mandate less certain than that?
Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Sep 4, 2009 12:07:26 PM
How about the recidivism rates in areas served by criminal lover judges vs criminal liking judges? These topics are useless paper shuffling exercises. These fools owe their jobs to criminals and will do nothing to upset or in any way inconvenience them. All need to resign, and to get replaced by people who know a little about crime, punishment, and criminals. How about random members of the jury pool for an instant upgrade in IQ, logic, and clarity of thought?
Further, I have to insist on their disclosing all possible conflicts of interest. Where are those disclosures? Who is paying these fools to maintain the relentless attacks on our people by their clients, the criminals. For example, if their salary is funded by an university, was that funding obtained from a front business laundering drug dealer money to these pro-criminal vermin?
Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Sep 4, 2009 7:22:24 PM
Good question Doug.
Reform, study, change, reform, hold hearings, start over, do it again, spend (waste) some more tax dollars, there's plenty, it goes on and on. Sen. Webb wants a study, House Subcommittee On Crime under Congressman Scott holds hearing after hearing on Over-Criminalization, Mandatory Minimums and others, Charles Rangel supports H.R. 1529 for eight years, then abandons it when his party has the power to implement change, The 2009 Criminal Justice Transition Coalition presented an excellent study, "Smart on Crime: Recommendations For the Next Administration and Congress" in December 2008, Sentencing Commission holds hearings all over the country.
What has been the result of any of these studies, hearings, promises, legislation, etc? Where is the reform? Where is the change? Where is the relief legislation that so many have placed their hopes in for years? Oh, they cry, send me back to congress just one more time and we will certainly get it done next time, and god help us, fools that we are, we keep sending them back to make more empty promises, create more study groups that produce recommendations that are never looked at seriously much less implemented, introduce legislation with no intent of really taking the necessary steps to insure passage but we keep believing the empty promises and we keep sending them back.
Maybe someday. Maybe???
Posted by: HadEnough | Sep 6, 2009 1:35:25 PM