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February 18, 2005

More on victims at sentencing

In this recent post, I talked through some of the questions I had about the role of crime victims at sentencing after this topic came up in a number of interesting ways during this week's US Sentencing Commission hearing (overall coverage linked here, specific highlights here and here).  Driving the topic now at the federal level, as both Judge Cassell and victim advocate Collene (Thompson) Campbell highlighted for the USSC, is Congress's October 2004 enactment of a comprehensive Crime Victims Rights Act (codified at 18 USC § 3771).

Proving he is the hardest working man in law business, Judge Cassell followed up the Commission buzz and my own queries with a terrifically insightful letter to the USSC covering "Victim Access to Pre-Sentence Reports" and "Defining the Victim."  Judge Cassell thoughtfully cc:d me on the letter and has allowed me to post it here:

Download cassell_victim_letter.rtf

And, excitingly, this developing dialogue prompted Mike Connelly of the Wisconsin Sentencing Commission to send me some information from his state about experiences with victims at sentencing.  A brief but thoughtful document entitled "Victim Information in Wisconsin Courts, 2003 – 2004" is also available here for download.  In addition, Mike shared his insight that some victims' organizations have been concerned at the lack of implementation of victims' rights provisions and have been looking at means to consolidate and improve data collection from local jurisdictions to state and national levels.   (I like hearing I am not the only one who beats the drum for sentencing data.)

Download wisconsin_victim_data.doc

February 18, 2005 at 04:52 PM | Permalink


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The United States Sentencing Commission has requested public comment for propesed amendments to sentencing guidelines not later than March 25 regarding retroactive application. Notice of public hearing.

Posted by: Sue Woody | Feb 18, 2005 7:59:52 PM

I have a question if the old sentencing guidelines applies for a New York SEC violation that occured during the old sentencing guidelines and the new sentencing guidelines will not apply because the charges occured during the old guidelines.

Please advise as I was told that this is the case. A friend I know who was charged 20 years ago with SEC violation and is now facing those charges now and I was told that the new guideline do not apply because the charges were during the old sentencing guidelines and those guideline only apply at this time.

Please advise.

Thank you.


Posted by: Maria Chernoff | Oct 18, 2006 10:51:53 PM

My grandson is a victim of a violent crime committed by a 16 year old girl. The outcome of this was that he was stabbed through his heart, had to have two open heart surgeries within one week with a prognosis of not being able to survive. God is good, he's alive, he's not the 18 year old athelet that I had, but I still have him. Never to be the same. My question is we live in the State of New Jersey. My understanding, which may be wrong, is that she will receive a light sentence. Is there any laws in this state that should try her as a adult with a mandatory adult sentence. Her charges are attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a weapon. This was not nor never has been his girlfriend, but his friends girlfriend, I need advise and a bette understanding. Yes, I must admit that I am bitter and pray for God to heal my heart and forgive. Your time is appreciated and your response is awaited.

Posted by: Jacquelyn Williams | Nov 12, 2008 4:56:00 PM

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