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June 28, 2006

All quiet on the Booker front?

With the Supreme Court issuing lots of criminal law opinions and with the death penalty doing its usual job of hogging up attention, I have not given much thought to the post-Booker world lately.  Moreover, except for the regular wins by prosecutors in the Eighth Circuit (examples here and here and here), there have been surprisingly few notable Booker opinions in the circuit courts recently.  And the Sentencing Commission, which was producing updates of post-Booker sentencing statistics on this page every few weeks not long ago, now has only produced one update in the last three month.

So I am now wondering, as we approach a full 18 months since the Booker ruling, has everyone started to settle in for the long haul with the Booker remedy? 

Of course, the most critical institution to focus upon is Congress, which could use a debate over a legislative Booker to make crime and punishment issues the next political rhetoric topic du jour.  As noted in this this recent post, a "topless guidelines" Booker fix bill has been in draft form for a number of weeks.  But this bill has not yet even been introduced in the House, and there is no evidence that either body of Congress is ready to move quickly on a massive restructuring of the federal sentencing system. 

Last September in this post, I had the temerity to ponder whether the Booker remedy might be here to stay.  Nearly a year later, the prospects seem even brighter.  Then again, maybe this is just the calm before the storm.

June 28, 2006 at 01:36 PM | Permalink


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