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May 10, 2017

"Behind the Bench: The Past, Present, and Future of Federal Sentencing"

The title of this post is the name of this exciting afternoon event taking place next week in Washington DC.  The event emerges from a thoughtful and provocative federal sentencing reform proposal put forward by current Acting US Sentencing Commission Chair Judge WIlliam Pryor (in part because that he graciously allowed this proposal to published in the Federal Sentencing Reporter).  Through my work with FSR, I played a small  role in getting this event off the ground, and here is the event's description from this webpage where one can register to attend:

Thirty years ago, the U.S. Sentencing Commission established the first-ever set of federal sentencing guidelines. Those initial Guidelines received a chilly reception as more than 200 federal judges found them unconstitutional.  Although the Supreme Court’s United States v. Booker decision in 2005 upheld the basic structure of the Guidelines, it recast them as “effectively advisory” to allow judges to continue applying the Guidelines consistent with new Sixth Amendment jurisprudence.

The Booker ruling stated Congress was free to devise a different system moving forward.  More than a dozen years and nearly a million federal sentences later, Congress has yet to act despite diverse criticisms of the Supreme Court’s advisory sentencing scheme.  This spotlights an enduring question: What is the proper relationship between the legislative and judicial branches in determining sentencing policy?

On May 17, please join the Charles Koch Institute, the Federal Sentencing Reporter, and the Law & Economics Center at George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School as we explore this question and discuss how we can learn from the past to improve present and future federal sentencing policy.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Judge William H. Pryor

MODERATED DISCUSSION: Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa and Judge Patti B. Saris

MODERATOR: Vikrant P. Reddy

Date: May 17

Time: 12:00 pm - 2:45 pm

I have been told that space is limited so folks interested in attending what ought to be a very interesting afternoon of federal sentencing discussion ought to be sure to register via this webpage ASAP.

May 10, 2017 at 11:59 PM | Permalink


"Those initial Guidelines received a chilly reception as more than 200 federal judges found them unconstitutional."

The deck is totally stacked.

Criminals are human beings. These reptiles are not even pro-criminal. They do not even have feelings for criminals. They are pro-government, a wholly owned subsidiary of the lawyer profession. I already know what they will say.

More procedure. More exceptions. More exceptions to the exceptions. That is lawyer code for more employment for themselves.

Posted by: David Behar | May 11, 2017 1:34:26 AM

I make a motion that the Supremacy Claus be banned from the blog.


Posted by: bruce cunningham | May 11, 2017 8:01:28 AM

Bruce. Here are the decisions of Judge Pryor. You be the judge. He is a big government little tyrant. He is not even pro-criminal, which would make him human, if mistaken.


I make a motion you start doing your job, protecting innocent clients from going to prison, you lazy, coffee slurping, secretary chatting, blog reading, worthless, tax sucking parasite.

Posted by: David Behar | May 11, 2017 8:26:26 AM

David, you last sentence here attacking Bruce was the last straw and I am now asking you to leave. You have said you would if asked, and we will now see if you are a man of your word. If you are and we can be free of your gratuitous vitriol for some period, I might consider inviting you back.

Thank you in advance for leaving.

Posted by: Doug B | May 11, 2017 9:50:27 AM

hey bruce i enjoyed from your article !
thanks for sharing with us

Posted by: maysam | May 11, 2017 4:35:01 PM

Doug. That was not any attack. That was loving correction of my good internet friend, Bruce. I value him as a rare lawyer who will speak to me on your biased blog.

Posted by: David Behar | May 12, 2017 1:54:05 PM

The left prefers banning people.


Posted by: David Behar | May 12, 2017 3:06:00 PM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB