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October 17, 2007

Any serious sentencing talk at the Mukasey hearings?

This new CNN piece, headlined "Attorney general nominee pledges independence," provides some of the highlights of today's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Attorney General-designate Michael Mukasey.  I watched the first hour of the hearing on C-Span 3, but then got bored because I did not hear any sentencing talk, and now I am wondering if any of the questioning involved sentencing issues.

Booker and possible Booker fixes, crack sentences, mandatory minimums, federal death penalty policy, lethal injection litigation, extreme sentences for white-collar and non-violent offenses and national sex offender policies all seem like topics very worthy of exploring with the likely next AG.  Did any of this stuff come up?

UPDATE:  Thanks to S.cotus for live-blogging a few sentencing-related highlights in these comments.  Now I am just waiting for federalist to add his perspective given that, as Stephen Colbert has explained, "reality has a well-known liberal bias."

October 17, 2007 at 02:32 PM | Permalink


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3:00 pm Brownback asking question about “Second Chance Act” and recidivism and fait-based rehab and mentoring programs. Mukasey says that he supports such things and is against criminal recruiting in prison. (Big deal.)
--Oooh… look at me. Liveblogging in the comments.

Posted by: S.cotus | Oct 17, 2007 2:59:52 PM

3:26 Speaking of Texas Border Guard case. Cornyn asks that the AG agree to “work” with the SJC to see whether sentencing would unfairly impact law enforcement that would need to carry firearms in the course of their duties.

Posted by: S.cotus | Oct 17, 2007 3:26:29 PM

"whether sentencing unfairly ... impact[s]law enforcement that would need to carry firearms in the course of their duties"

Does this mean that Congress is considering a "law enforcement exception" to mandatory minimums? I can see it now: "a firearms offense shall not be punished by less than 10 years imprisionment, unless the offense is committed by a law enforcement officer, and then you shall be punished to a term of probation."

Posted by: DEJ | Oct 17, 2007 4:59:11 PM

I am a practicing defense attorney and adjunct professor teaching a course in the death penalty. More importantly, I am a 5 handicap at Oakmont Country Club (site of this Year's Open) and would welcome the oppurtunity to treat you to a game of golf there next spring. Your blog is a fabulous resource and always my first place to look on sentencing issues. Thanks.

Posted by: John A. Knorr | Oct 17, 2007 5:10:18 PM

In thinking back, I remember a few references to "judicial independence." Obviously this covers a lot of ground, but maybe this is a sentencing reference.

Posted by: S.cotus | Oct 17, 2007 10:55:54 PM

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