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June 1, 2007

AG Gonzales talking again about a mandatory minimum guideline system

Perhaps deciding that the best defense is a good offense, Attorney General Gonzales today announced a set of new initiatives for combating violent crime.  (I would think that not firing well-regarded US Attorneys would be part of any effective crime-fighting program, but....)

As detailed in this lengthy official press release, one part of the AG's proposed plan is another pitch for a "topless guideline" Booker fix that would make mandatory again "the bottom of the guideline range for each offense."  There are lots and lots of particulars to the AG's proposed "new legislation to help prevent and combat violent crime," and it is not clear that anything is new in the Booker fix discussion.  In addition, it strikes me as very unlikely that any "topless guideline" system would be well received in Congress.  Nevertheless, it is interesting and notable that, after nearly six months of ugly developments involving the AG, he and his Justice Department are starting what should be a hot summer with some old school "tough on crime" talk.

June 1, 2007 at 10:19 PM | Permalink


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It's good to know they are cracking down on violent crimes by going after violent criminals.

But wait. They busted 9,800 gang members, drug dealers, felons in possession of firearms, and other violent criminals, but only 1,650 were identified as “worst of the worst” criminals.

That means 8150 were not the "worst of the worst." Which begs the question, did these violent criminals hit people with their purses?

Stranger still, how is a drug deal by definition violent? And a felon in possession of a firearm might be, but is the possession of a firearm in and of itself a violent act?

What's the real deal?

Violent Crime and Anti-Terrorism Act of 2007

Hey, fear of terrorism got Bush elected again, so maybe it can keep Alberto from getting fired. Let's just hope he doesn't create as many violent criminals as Bush created new terrorists. Wait, too late for that. Think drug war.

Posted by: George | Jun 2, 2007 2:44:04 AM

I wonder what will be the mandatory minimum sentence for lying to Congress about the firing of US attorneys?

Posted by: William Jockusch | Jun 2, 2007 1:09:47 PM

According to the press release, "The proposed Sentencing Reform Act will ... Provide rights of appeal to both the United States and the defendant to challenge the sentencing determinations made by the district court." Don't the gov't and the def't already have the right to appeal sentences? What does this mean? This makes me nervous that they're going to try to pass a statute that says that guideline sentences are presumptively reasonable etc.

Posted by: Jeff | Jun 2, 2007 8:52:07 PM

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