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April 27, 2005

In praise of the District of Maine

Through my work on this blog, I have come to especially appreciate judges who write thoughtful sentencing opinions and court websites which make those opinions easily available on-line.  (It is has been interesting to discover the diversity — dare I say disparity? — in these areas throughout the federal system.)

Though I have not done a comprehensive examination of district court websites, I am moved today to give a special shout out to the District of Maine.  Its website, in addition to being  informative, attractive, and easy-to-navigate, makes available an enormous number of the court's opinions going back many years.  And, the district's three active judges — Chief Judge George Singal, Judge D. Brock Hornby and Judge John Woodcock (bios here) — all seem to make a habit of writing thoughtful sentencing opinions.  Consider, as just some examples from the last few weeks, these efforts:

All of these decision thoughtfully address a number of important post-Booker issues.  Perhaps the one must-read is Marinaro, which covers a broad array of post-Booker matters in an extended opinion with this opening line: "Gerardo Marinaro, an Italian citizen, is a genuinely likeable, hard working family man, who has an unfortunate knack for occasionally making notably bad decisions."

UPDATE: I am very pleased to see that Mike at Crime & Federalism has picked up this theme with this post praising the Eighth Circuit's website.  Mike makes a number of good points on which we agree; I particularly like that the circuit's opinion page has summaries of the day's decisions, where today you will see a notable sentencing rulings in US v. Brown, No. 04-2960 and US v. Garcia, No. 04-3016 .

April 27, 2005 at 01:11 PM | Permalink


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