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January 1, 2005

Suggesting sentencing resolutions

New Year's Day means, in addition to reflecting on the year just completed, making resolutions and seeing if I can go the whole day without breaking them.  (I was thinking of adding "blog less" to the standard "exercise more" and "eat less" resolutions until I saw that blogging makes me one of the People of the Year.) 

But, even more fun than making resolutions for myself is making resolutions for others in the sentencing world.  So here goes:

US Supreme Court: Decide Booker and Fanfan ASAP and grant cert. on additional cases to resolve any key Blakely issues left unresolved in Booker and Fanfan.

US Congress: Do not over-react to Booker and Fanfan by enacting rash sentencing legislation; have a series of hearings and listen to the advice from judges, the USSC, prosecutors, defense counsel and others on the sentencing front-lines.

US Sentencing Commission: Continue to support an open, balanced and data-driven dialogue about federal sentencing law and policy while taking an active and bold leadership role in the policy debate over responses to Booker and Fanfan.

US Justice Department: Act more like a department of justice and less like a department of prosecutors; realize that a shorter sentence is not always an unjust sentence.

State Courts: Keep trying to sort out and seek thoughtful resolutions to all the tough questions raised by Blakely while trying to achieve justice in individual cases.

State Legislatures and Sentencing Commissions: Keep trying to develop cautious and measured responses to Blakely which generally seek to honor, rather than evade, the principles motivating the decision.

President/Governors: Seek to promote, in part through the use of historic clemency powers, a more balanced and humane political and public dialogue about crime and punishment.

I could go on and suggest resolutions for line prosecutors and defense counsel and probation officers and many others, but I will stop here and simply encourage readers to use the comments to add their own sentencing resolutions.

January 1, 2005 at 01:52 PM | Permalink


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Various Departments of Correction: Seek to add rehabilitation (Correction) services to your objectives in a meaningful way.

Posted by: Jeannie | Jan 1, 2005 3:33:00 PM

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