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February 10, 2007

Friday night (sentencing) lights

Two circuit rulings from late Friday provide remarkable illumination of many remarkable modern federal sentencing realities:

Judge McConnell's work in Medley is so great that I'll have another post with additional analysis coming soon.

February 10, 2007 at 01:43 PM | Permalink


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I would say that that 5th Circuit ruling was, at best, a low light.

While naturally I tend to agree with you on the offender/offense distinction, I think neither approach should be the goal of sentencing in an ideal setting. Make me philosopher-king and sentencing would be based on what is the optimal public safety outcome achievable using best practices within constitutional and budgetary constraints? As a non-practitioner observing from a distance, it appears that in cases like the below-guideline sentence for the college kid possessing child porn in the 5th Circuit, offender-oriented sentencing more often achieves that goal. But I often think the way the courts frame crime and punishment debates seems to nearly preclude best outcomes rather than pursue them.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Feb 10, 2007 2:15:43 PM

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