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March 20, 2007

Reports from the USSC hearing?

As previously discussed here and here and here, the US Sentencing Commission today is conducting a public hearing; this detailed official agenda now links most of the prepared written testimony.  I hope any attendees (or participants) might use the comments to this post to report on any notable happenings.

Unfortunately, not (yet?) posted on the USSC hearing page is what Jonathan Wroblewski is saying on behalf of the Justice Department concerning criminal history. I am especially interested in this testimony because Jonathan not long ago co-authored a great paper calling for guideline simplification — R. Barry Ruback and Jonathan Wroblewski, The Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Psychological and Policy Reasons for Simplification, 7 Psych. Pub. Pol. & L. 739 (2001).  The USSG Chapter 4 criminal history provisions are, without question, the guidelines most desperately in need of simplification.

Relatedly, NPR yesterday had this audio segment discussing crack sentencing with Marc Mauer based on the (incorrect?) assumption that the USSC hearing was "to discuss revamping tough policies for crack-cocaine offenses."  I would be especially eager to hear if anyone speaking officially for the USSC indicates that the Commission is prepared to do something more than just talk about long-needed cocaine sentencing reforms.

March 20, 2007 at 12:33 PM | Permalink


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