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January 21, 2005

Reporting anecdotes on post-Booker sentencings

In yesterday's post entitled Anecdotes, data and the USSC's big challenge, I stressed the importance of making sentencing policy based on data rather than anecdote (which is one reason I keep urging Congress to take a deep breath to give the US Sentencing Commission a chance to assemble data and recommendations for federal sentencing in the post-Booker era).  But thorough data collection and analysis takes time, and in the meantime there is still value in assembling some anecdotes.

As noted in this prior post, I have heard of some judges following the guidelines closely, some focusing more on punishment purposes in particular cases, and some talking of Blakely-izing after Booker.  I encourage readers to report in the comments about post-Booker sentencings and the (varying?) approaches being adopted by district judges.

I can relay some anecdotal reports from local newspaper stories.  Particularly noteworthy is this story from Texas detailing a decision by US District Judge Randy Crane to use his post-Booker discretion to extend the prison terms of three officials charged with accepting bribes.  Significantly, as detailed in this post, I am not sure due process principles permit a post-Booker sentence increase based on pre-Booker conduct, but this issue will apparently need to be litigated in the days and week ahead.

January 21, 2005 at 12:40 AM | Permalink


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Punish them all!!! Good job, Judges.

Posted by: joe | Jan 21, 2005 9:36:07 AM

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