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February 2, 2005

Judge Cassell responds with Wilson II!!

In an encore performance, Judge Paul Cassell, who got the post-Booker world kicked off with a bang with his Wilson decision (basics here, commentary here and here), has jumped back into the on-going sentencing dialogue with another (lengthy) Wilson opinion (which was prompted by the defendant's motion for reconsideration).  AMazingly, Judge Cassell seems to be able to move even faster than this blog.

In this version of US v. Wilson, Case No. 2:03-CR-00882 PGC (D. Utah Feb. 2, 2005) (available here), Judge Cassell reaffirms his earlier view that the Guidelines should receive "heavy weight" in determining sentences.  The opinion directly responds to rulings in Ranum (basics here, commentary here and here), Myers (discussed here), West (discussed here), and Huerta-Rodriguez (discussed here).  Amazingly, it also contains a few concepts and quotes from the Second Circuit's decision today in Crosby (discussed here).

February 2, 2005 at 07:50 PM | Permalink


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Judge Wilson now wins the Dick Cheney of the Judiciary award. In the face of thoughtful disagreement with his arguments, and plentiful criticism of his analysis (most of which he simply ignores, such as the commission's lack of competence to assess specific deterrence), he persists in arguing that he was right all along.

Keep trying judge. More thoughtful and courageous judges, who aren't afraid of congress and who don't believe in pandering to uneducated public opinion (Cassell: "the Guidelines have the backing of the public") will continue to ignore your crusade to be the fastest tool of regressive sentencing in the West.

Posted by: Anonymous | Feb 2, 2005 8:54:22 PM

J. Cassell - “Deja vu” He does not get it. As the old adage goes “some are born brilliant, some achieve brilliance and some have brilliance thrust upon them”. The same goes with stupidity or being cocky and you can figure out the last part where it has been “thrust upon” Judge Cassell. It takes a different level of courage to usurp the dogmatic rituals and to stand up to something in a dynamic fashion. He had brilliantly done almost more than 6 months ago, a decision in which I have adorned and admired his courage in the wake of Blakely. W ho knows, now that may be because of peer pressure or “ego”, he is reluctant to admit that the “post Blakely/Booker world of criminal justice has changed”. I again emphasis and reiterate that “justice should be done, but in a fair and humane way” without sentencing windfalls. J. Cassell’s reasoning is suspect, but not the ultimate end-result. We need more provocative thinkers…………….

Posted by: AKS | Feb 2, 2005 11:01:38 PM

I see you were cited in this case, although not by name. Too bad Judge Cassell didn't rely on any of your actual commentary and analysis, rather than just your colorful phrasing.

Posted by: LvL | Feb 3, 2005 10:12:38 AM

Can anyone really take any opinion seriously when -- like this new Wilson opinion -- it describes right-wing nut John Lott as a "well-known law and economics scholar" and then describes those who argue the opposite view of the same point as "leftist scholars"? (see p. 15). I can't -- it screams out, "I'm a political actor here, even if I'm not aware of it myself."

Posted by: sam heldman | Feb 3, 2005 10:57:05 AM

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