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February 9, 2005

Gearing up for Booker hearing week

As discussed here earlier this week, tomorrow the House Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security has an Oversight Hearing on "The Implications of the Booker/Fanfan Decisions for the Federal Sentencing Guidelines."   I am hopong that some written testimony might be posted by the Committee at this official hearing page, although I will plan to post in this space any hearing testimony I receive.

Indeed, I have already received, and provided for downloading here, a brief letter to the Sub-Committee from the Ethics Officer Association and a similar letter from legal counsel to various corporate groups, and also the prepared testimony of US Sentencing Commission Chair Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa.

Download EOALetterUSCongressFeb_10_2005.pdf

Download business_letter_to_house_2.9.05.doc

UPDATE: The Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security has posted this press release concerning tomorrow's hearing, and the USSC website now has as a pdf document Chair Hinojosa's prepared testimony here.

And speaking of the US Sentencing Commission, I was extremely pleased to see on the USSC website the full Public Hearing Agenda, the circulated list of Topics of Discussion, and even a very personal Sample Hearing Invitation in conjunction with the USSC's Public Hearing in DC next week. 

There is so much worthy of comment in all these materials, I hope readers might share some general or particular comments concerning all of these Booker events on the near horizon.

UPDATE: An insightful reader has spotlighted to me that Chair Hinojosa's prepared testimony includes "interesting statistics on post-Booker sentencing: upward sentences 3x more likely than before Booker (thought numbers are so few that it many not mean anything) and downward/outside the range about the same as pre-Booker."

February 9, 2005 at 04:02 PM | Permalink


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» Hearing on Booker and FanFan Thursday from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
It's a busy day Thursday at the House Judiciary Committee. In addition to the Immigration subcommittee taking up the Real ID Act, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security will hold an oversight hearing on "The Implications of the... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 9, 2005 11:48:00 PM

» Hearing on Booker and FanFan Thursday from TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime
It's a busy day Thursday at the House Judiciary Committee. In addition to the Immigration subcommittee taking up the Real ID Act, the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security will hold an oversight hearing on "The Implications of the... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 9, 2005 11:53:10 PM


I would like to know who are all you people who think you can give advice with regard to sentencing people to life in prison for small quantities of drugs? Why is it that some people (ENRON) can take millions away from people's hard earned 401K's and walk away from a prison sentence, let alone a court appearance or even an arrest. Yet, you get an offender of drugs and right away you want to lock them up for life. I am sorry but you are all very, very wrong.

Our judicial sentencing system is a shear SHAM. It is not "innocent until proven guilty." It is "guilty until proven innocent."

I want to know how a prosecutor can file indictments on an individual, starting out with 2, then supercede them 3 times, making a total of 7 counts (mind you, adding charges that were not even there in the beginning)--there were no weapons found, no money, no drugs (aside from the small quantity that the police planted, of course) and the only "proof" the prosecutor has are jailhouse snitches--that the prosecutor RECRUITED after the individual was arrested and sat in jail for a few months (which was how he superceded the indictments).

Of course, this was after the individual's family hired a lawyer for $15,000. So, now that the prosecutor made up all these dummy charges via the superceding indictments, the $15,000 retainer is pretty much depleted and now the family has no more money for trial. Which, I am sure the prosecutor figured, probably the lawyer too. And, of course, you know, that the attorney wants/needs thousands more in order to represent this individual for trial.

So, the defendant has two choices: plead guilty to charges that he is totally innocent of and I forgot to mention that by doing this, he gets, along with his plea, NO APPEAL, NO PAROLE. Or, go to trial and pray the jury finds him "not guilty." But, then, of course, if the jury finds him guilty then the mandatory sentencing falls into play. AND, because the indictment was also changed to reflect larger amounts of drugs (where they are is a mystery to me because they never existed and are not in the custody of any of the police evidence) it puts this person in a danger of facing life: FOR CHARGES THAT ARE BOGUS, NO EVIDENCE AND INDICTMENTS CREATED ON LIES BY LIARS SITTING IN JAIL WAITING FOR A BREAK ON THEIR OWN CASES ALL BECAUSE A PROSECUTOR WANTS AN INDIVIDUAL TO BE PUT AWAY FOR LIFE BECAUSE WHY? BECAUSE THE PROSECUTOR HAS THE POWER, THAT IS WHY.

Of course, I forgot to mention that the prosecutor has already set up his own circus court, meaning his own judges; probably a phantom CI (since they won't release that name either) listed on the search warrant...what a sham.

Gee, whatever happened to true police work?

You people do not get it. Mandatory sentencing is NOT fair and it is NOT keeping our streets and children safe. Locking people up for life is not the answer.

Watch out--it may happen to someone you know and love, then YOU will know exactly what I am talking about. Of course, if you are a politician or have lots of money, you will be able to buy that person out of trouble....

Posted by: Sam Spence | Feb 9, 2005 10:22:44 PM

thank you.

Posted by: Sam Spence | Feb 9, 2005 10:23:59 PM

You're right Sam, and the people here DO get that. That's why everyone is discussing how to improve the system and hopefully they will. It's corrupt as it stands and allows the political war on (fill in the blank) to carry the day, inspite of the lies and misrepresentations necessary to get there.

In my own opinion, there are plenty of good people at work in the Justice Dept. But there are also plenty there that have lost their souls a long time ago. They don't understans how a person can be caught up in the system. All they say is that it's your own fault, which is not the truth. It's expensive and can cause one to lose everything they've ever worked for, money, home, job, retirement, friends and family.

I pray everynight that those in power will see and recognize the gross violation of rights which they commit. I'll pray for you as well.

Posted by: grant | Feb 10, 2005 12:19:17 AM

Couldn't have said it better myself Sam.
My friend got a life sentece +20yr for attempted murder with NO evidence and an over zealous prosecutor.
No priors,but a jail house snitch with a long history facing 20yrs..yea they believed him..he walked out of jail before they even sentenced my friend...oh and the narccasitic wife that got a 50k victim fund payment.
With those incentives why tell the truth when you can get ahead with lieing!
Now he sits in prison.I buried both his parents (15 days apart) after the 2nd appeal came back denied.

Posted by: Ms.L | Jan 16, 2008 8:11:24 PM

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