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April 26, 2011

Justice Department, six months later, responds to Senators' inquiry about handling FSA pipeline cases

Thanks to a very helpful reader, I have gotten a copy (and provide for downloading below) of a response from the Justice Department to the letter, dated November 17, 2010, from Senator Patrick Leahy and Senator Dick Durbin to Attorney General Eric Holder (blogged here) which urged the Justice Department to "apply [the Fair Sentencing Act's] modified mandatory minimums to all defendants who have not yet been sentenced, including those whose conduct predates the legislation's enactment."  

The response says little more than what the DOJ lawyers have been saying in courts around the country, namely that the Fair Sentencing Act's silence about implementation dates means that the general Savings Statute entails that only conduct after the effective date of the FSA gets the benefit of the new mandatory minimums.  Nevertheless, the letter is an interesting read, especially because it includes as attachments the internal memos sent from Main Justice to all prosecutors about how they should respond to the enactment of the FSA in August 2010 and to the promulgation of revised crack guidelines in November 2011.

Download FSA_Holder_letter_response_042511

Some posts on this FSA issue:

April 26, 2011 at 03:19 PM | Permalink


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Tweedle-dee (Congress) and Tweedle-dum (DOJ) continue to collect salaries at the expense of real working Americans who are being raped by their government, both democrats and republicans.

I consider professors of law in the raping group as to their gubermint subsidies.

Your ideas and Doug's create NOTHING but future indebted students.

PS: How many Angels can dance on the head of a pin?

Why are we more barbaric, when the sentence for a crime is (extremely more cruel) than the crime itself (you know what post I am talking about), you apologist you?

Internally and inherently dishonest by the nicks of a thousand cuts (wink-wink) our government is.

Posted by: albeed | Apr 26, 2011 10:49:34 PM

Is the above a joke?

Posted by: Christopher Keese | Apr 26, 2011 10:55:55 PM

I want to provide a comment on the actual post. It is painful to see defendants sentenced today under old laws that have been legislatively-determined to be unfair and without basis. Further, a defendant subject to an 851 enhancement is doubly exposed to an unjust sentence. Any thoughts on how to attack the viability of an enhancement beside the argument that FSA is retroactive? Here in the MD Fla, judges are split, but our division has ordered that it is not retroactive.

Posted by: Christopher Keese | Apr 26, 2011 11:02:24 PM

This is the response that it took DOJ six months to write? What a joke--a cruel, thoughtless, poorly reasoned, unjust joke.

There was an easy way for DOJ to handle this without giving up any ground on already-final cases, but instead they have chosen a path of resistance that, in the absence of unlikely Congressional action, will assuredly lead to years of needless litigation and unnecessary incarceration. A double-win for the taxpayers.

Posted by: CJB | Apr 27, 2011 8:46:13 AM

You posted extremely valuable article that for some reason you got my own interest to try this kind of out.

Posted by: Pandora Canada | Jun 19, 2011 11:06:59 PM

Ideas or processes that fail only hihghlight what soesn't/didn't work - just don't do them again, try a different way, idea, or subject.

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Fair warning to Rookie Kagan: if you refuse to carry CJ Roberts' (legal) pads, karma will land you with an injury that prevents you from writing any opinions for at least six weeks..

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