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February 14, 2005

The next big hearing and some written USSC Hearing testimony

After the circuits went wild at the end of last week (some details here, commentary here), today has been, at least according to my in-box, a mercifully quiet day for court decisions.  And that quiet has, thankfully, given me needed time to complete my written testimony for the US Sentencing Commission hearing that starts tomorrow afternoon and is formally entitled "entitled "U.S. v. Booker/Fanfan and the Impact on Federal Sentencing." 

The Commission had provided is Public Hearing Agenda here and some Topics of Discussion here for this exciting next round of Booker hearings.  I must say that I am a bit fearful that even I may soon start suffering from Booker overload.  Last week's House hearing (highlights here) had only four witnesses and was still a bit overwhelming.  (Notably, a full webcast of that hearing is now available here.)  The USSC is bringing in twenty (20!) big-time witnesses for its two days of hearings, and I suspect every one of them will have important and interests insights and ideas to share.

I have the pleasure of sharing Tuesday's final panel, which is to provide "A View from Academia," with Paul Rosenzweig, Senior Legal Research Fellow, The Heritage Foundation, and Adjunct Professor, George Mason University School of Law.  You can have an opportunity to see how things look from academia by reading my written testimony and Paul's testimony, which I provide for downloading below.

Download final_berman_ussc_testimony_215.pdf

Download ussc_feb_152004_rosenzweig.PDF

UPDATE: I am very pleased to have now received a copy of Judge Paul Cassell's written testimony for the USSC hearing tomorrow.  It runs fifty pages (50!), though parts I and II cover the ground of Judge Cassell's Wilson opinions.  But Part III makes specific recommendations to the Commission about how to improve the Guidelines after Booker (e.g., encouraging the Commission to reemphasize that "forbidden" factors remain forbidden and to discourage 5K1.1 downward departures for substantial assistance absent a government motion).  And Part IV touches on the rights of victims to participate in the federal criminal justice process in the wake of Congress's October 2004 enactment of a comprehensive Crime Victims Rights Act.  Interesting stuff.

Download judge_cassell_ussc_hearing_testimony.rtf

February 14, 2005 at 03:39 PM | Permalink


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