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November 13, 2016

Respond to Election 2016 outcomes by writing a commentary for the Federal Sentencing Reporter

1.cover-sourceWearing my hat as an editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter, I am happy to reproduce a solicitation from the journal below (and I am eager to encourage regular readers to put together their views ASAP for possible publication):

Seeking Commentaries for Federal Sentencing Reporter Special Issue to provide “Advice for the new Congress and new Administration”

Every election cycle presents a notable opportunity for new discussions and debate over the state and future of the federal criminal justice system, especially when the election comes at the close of a two-term presidency.  And after considerable talk before the campaign season of bipartisan agreement over the need for federal sentencing reforms, the 2016 campaign saw the two leading candidates take divergent tacks when discussing crime and punishment.  Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton spoke of the need for “end-to-end reform” of the criminal-justice.  In sharp contrast, GOP candidate (and now President Elect) Donald Trump stressed the themes of "law and order."

With the election of Donald Trump and with both houses of Congress to be under the control of the same party as the President Elect, the incoming Congress and new Administration could seek to move forward swiftly with criminal justice reforms. But what form might new reforms take?  In a short document entitled "Donald Trump's Contract with the American Voter," the President-Elect pledged to work with Congress to establish new mandatory minimum prison terms for certain immigration offenses, to create a task force on violent crime, and to increase funding for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors.  But beyond these few pledges, it remains quite unclear whether or how the new Trump Administration or the incoming Congress might want to make a criminal justice reform priority.

In light of these developments and related uncertainty, the editors of the Federal Sentencing Reporter have decided to create a special Forum opportunity to invite judges, lawyers and other sentencing practitioners, legal academics and sentencing researchers, to share "Advice for the new Congress and new Administration."  We hope that contributors to this special issue of FSR can help provide both general ideas and specific proposals for how the new Congress and new Administration should approach criminal justice reform issues, especially as they relate to federal sentencing law and policy.

FSR seeks to publish short commentaries — ranging in length from a few paragraphs to a few pages — on any federal crime and punishment topics authored in any reasonable form to provide “Advice for the new Congress and new Administration.” Commentaries could tackle big structural issues (such as whether the time has come to radically change the advisory guideline system), smaller technical issues (such as how to revise statutory mandatory minimum drug sentencing provisions), or any other topic of interest or concern to modern federal sentencing policy and practice.

FSR hopes to publish in its December 2016 and February 2017 issues all proper commentaries submitted before the end of this year.  Submissions must be received no later than November 28 for possible publication in the December issue and not later than December 24 for the February issue.  Submissions should be sent electronically to sentencinglaw @ gmail.com with a clear indication of the author and the author’s professional affiliation.  All judges, lawyers and other sentencing practitioners, legal academics and sentencing researchers, and any others with an informed interest in federal sentencing law, policy and practice are encouraged to submit a commentary.

November 13, 2016 at 11:06 PM | Permalink


I'm probably going to write on how Obama sucked on clemency and how Trump is going to make clemency great again.

Posted by: Don't Ask | Nov 14, 2016 1:38:12 PM

Sounds like a great topic good to me. Certainly DJT cannot do worse in next four years than Prez Obama did during his first term.

Posted by: Doug B. | Nov 14, 2016 7:26:00 PM

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