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December 5, 2004

Are federal prisons gearing up for Booker and Fanfan?

I have heard a fascinating rumor that the Justice Department last week sent a long memo to those who oversee federal prisons.  As reported to me, this memo indicated that a decision in Booker and Fanfan is expected soon and it called for making preparations in prison law libraries and elsewhere for a possible major increase in the "legal workload." 

As described to me, the memo would suggest that the executive branch is making a very appropriate effort to help deal with all the prisoners who will claim their sentence is unconstitutionally problematic after Booker and Fanfan (an issue I recently spotlighted here).  But I have not seen this memo, and thus now I am reporting this information third-hand. 

Can any readers confirm (or deny) this existence of this memo?  And if anyone has a copy of this memo, I would be grateful to receive it by e-mail or fax.  Whether this memo exists or not, I doubt I am the only one seriously gearing up for Booker and Fanfan.

UPDATE:  I have already received a few e-mails from prisoners' family members relaying that prisoners have reported unusual lockdowns and/or meetings apparently related to Booker and Fanfan this past week.  Keep the reports coming in the comments and via e-mail.

December 5, 2004 at 10:15 AM | Permalink


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Posted by: GAY TRAUTMAN | Dec 5, 2004 12:33:55 PM

Is their anything I can do to find out if my husband is going to get out soon?
What is the next step?
And how long will it take to find out who's time is going to be reduced?

Posted by: Vernetta Smith | Dec 5, 2004 12:50:04 PM

I'm curious about the content of these meetings -- are they discussing the content of Blakely, et al., or is the Town Hall about administrative processes inmates "must" use before going to court? The latter is a rumour I heard once two months ago and have not heard again.

Posted by: Jay Hurst | Dec 5, 2004 8:39:34 PM

My friend who is at FCI Ft. Dix said that there is a memo posted in all the units - telling inmates that they should contact their lawyers - not their case mangers- if they wanted a review of their sentence.

Posted by: jimmy | Dec 6, 2004 12:04:33 AM

I have friends in federal prison: I have also heard from a friend at a camp in Pensacola that they have had "town hall" meetings informing inmates that they should not look to the BOP for relief on their sentences but they need to contact their attorneys or file a habeas themselves. My friend also said they had experienced riots at the prisons once before when a ruling came down regarding their sentences (I don't know what this was)and they want to avoid the malay.

Posted by: Anne | Dec 6, 2004 11:28:49 AM

I am a student soon to be pursuing my JD degree in a year and I have a childhood friend from school that is incarcerated in a Federal holding facility in IL. According to him the inmates have the dates that the Supreme Court is supposed to make a decision on Booker and Fan Fan cases posted in their cells. Most of the inmates are facing federal drug charges and are trying to prolong their cases before deciding to plead guilty or go to trial. He also said that most of their attorneys have said that the decision of the Supreme Court will not matter in their cases. Even though most them have received upward enhancements for crimes not listed in their indictment. My friend said that they are all praying the Supreme Court will abolish the guidelines.

Posted by: shana | Dec 7, 2004 10:09:11 AM

I work for a person who is currently in a federal prison.
He sent me some copies of the MEMO to all Chief Executive Officers of the BOP, about the preparation for the Booker and Fafan ruling.

You can access the memo at:

Posted by: Steven Guillen | Dec 9, 2004 7:15:28 PM

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