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January 25, 2006

Judicial complaint about the guidelines' leniency

Though often federal judges are heard to complain that the federal sentencing guidelines are too harsh, an alien smuggling case from Florida prompted a district judge yesterday to complain that the guidelines were too lenient.  Here are the basics from press accounts (here and here) discussing the case:

Two convicted Cuban immigrants were escorted into a federal courtroom Tuesday, fully expecting a judge to put them behind bars for six years for their roles in a smuggling operation that ended in tragedy. They were wrong.

U.S. District Judge K. Michael Moore delayed his decision, saying six years was not enough punishment under federal sentencing guidelines because a young boy drowned in the Oct. 13 illegal crossing of the Florida Straits.

UPDATE:  David Markus comments on this case here at his blog, and brings up the ever-popular judge as umpire theme.

January 25, 2006 at 07:05 AM | Permalink


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