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December 10, 2007

A manic Monday recap, and a dinner break

I predicted over the weekend that this could be quite the sentencing day, and it sure has not disappointed.  Of course, the strong statements by a strong majority of the Supreme Court in Gall and Kimbrough is the most consequential news (and How Appealing collects early media coverage here).  But I suspect non-lawyers will ultimately end up spending more time talking about the federal sentences given today to Michael Vick and Conrad Black.  Whatever your interest, as I head out to a needed dinner break, here is a review of my posts covering manic Monday (many of which have great reader comments):



As we reflect on all these developments, it is worth spotlighting that both Michael Vick and Conrad Black ended up getting within-guideline sentences.  This is a useful reminder that, even now after the Supreme Court has clarified in Gall and Kimbrough that the federal guidelines are really, truly, yes-we-really-mean-it advisory, lots of sentencing judges are still going to be following the guidelines advice.

December 10, 2007 at 05:17 PM | Permalink


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» On December 10, a trio of Supreme Court sentencing opinions. from UNDERDOG - Criminal/Drunk Driving Defense in Maryland, Virginia, DC
Bill of Rights. (From the public domain.) After issuing a trickle of opinions through last week, the United States Supreme Court opened the faucet full blast to issue a trio of sentencing decisions on December 10, with two of them setting a major direc [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 10, 2007 7:26:07 PM


I think it's a good thing that most judges will be giving within guidelines sentences. There should, after all, be some sense of fairness to defendants one and all, and generally, having a sentencing guideline range helps assure that. What is nice about these cases is that now, federal judges can truly take into consideration someone's whole life when deciding an appropriate sentence. It is a good day for justice.

Posted by: txpublicdefender | Dec 10, 2007 8:59:26 PM

Prof. Berman,

Dinner's on me! I am a long-time fan, and your work on Apprendi, Blakely, Booker, Claiborne, Gall, and Kimbrough -- along with your significant thought and coverage regarding a myriad of other sentencing issues -- has been fantastic. I hope that the significant Sixth Amendment sentencing cases will end here (but, as you've already pointed out, there are plenty of issues to be resolved).

I have had the good fortune to represent William J. Davis (in U.S. v. Davis, discussed today and previously on this site on several occasions) in his two trips to the Sixth Circuit. Mr. Davis has a cert. petition pending in the Supreme Court. I hope and expect that his case will be gvr'd, and that he will have a third hearing in the Sixth Circuit. Throughout this long representation, I have constantly looked to your blog, your views, and the views of your readers to assist my representation of Mr. Davis. The case is far from over, but, having just read Gall, I am grateful for the extraordinary thoughtfulness and wisdom that you have made available to me and others.


Posted by: Mark | Dec 10, 2007 11:18:30 PM

I'm blushing, Mark. Thanks for the kind words.

Posted by: Doug B. | Dec 11, 2007 1:02:35 AM

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