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September 30, 2004

The WSJ does it again

Establishing itself as the premier newspaper covering the federal sentencing system at this historic moment (see, e.g., articles from last week here and here), the Wall Street Journal has another fantastic article about Blakely and the feared "mandatory minimum backlash" that could come from Congress.

The article (only available to subscribers) by Laurie Cohen and Gary Fields, which is entitled "Mandatory Sentences Loom as Issue" and has the subtitle "Ahead of Supreme Court Session, All 3 Branches of Government Jockey Over Control of System," captures the moment this way:

[The Blakely] ruling has left lawyers, judges and legislators uncertain about the validity of federal sentencing guidelines. It also has prompted speculation that Congress will impose mandatory sentences for a raft of crimes, from minor offenses to major felonies, leaving judges no latitude to allow for individual circumstances.

The article goes on to discuss the new mandatory sentencing bill working its way through Congress (discussed here), the efforts by the Justice Department to praise mandatory minimums through local papers across the nation (discussed here), and the work of Judge Cassell in the Angelos case (discussed here). The article also includes this insightful graphic about how many federal convictions are subject to mandatory minimum sentences and also some of the key provisions of the new mandatories proposed in the House bill (click on the image to see it more clearly).

September 30, 2004 at 10:42 AM | Permalink


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