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June 22, 2022

Call for commentary for Federal Sentencing Reporter issue to provide "Advice for a new U.S. Sentencing Commission"

I am pleased to be able to spotlight here a call for papers from the Federal Sentencing Reporter:

Seeking Commentaries for Federal Sentencing Reporter's October Issue to provide “Advice for a new U.S. Sentencing Commission”

Last month, President Joseph Biden announced seven nominees for the U.S. Sentencing Commission, and in early June the Senate Judiciary Committee held a confirmation hearing for this full slate of nominees.  The Commission has lacked a quorum since 2019, which has prevented the agency from amending the US Sentencing Guidelines in any way. President Biden’s nominations, if the confirmation process continues to move forward this summer, should allow an all-new Commission to get to work on federal sentencing reform matters big and small.  The editors of the Federal Sentencing Reporter are eager to invite judges, lawyers, other sentencing practitioners, legal academics, and sentencing researchers, to share “Advice for a new U.S. Sentencing Commission,” for publication in the October 2022 FSR issue.

FSR commentaries for this issue could tackle big structural issues (such as how the Commission might review and reassess the entire guidelines system), smaller statutory issues (such as how to respond to reforms Congress enacted in the FIRST STEP Act), or any other topic of interest or concern to modern federal sentencing policy and practice.  FSR welcomes advice from all perspectives, including lessons the Commission could learn from the states and other countries.  Everyone with an informed interest in federal sentencing law and practice is encouraged to submit a commentary.

FSR articles are typically brief — 2000 to 5000 words, though they can run longer — with light use of citations in the form of endnotes.  The pieces are designed to be read by busy stakeholders, including lawyers, judges, scholars, and legislators (as well as, of course, members and staff of the US Sentencing Commission).

Priority will be given to drafts submitted by July 25, 2022, and later submissions will be considered as space permits. Submissions should be sent electronically to berman.43 @ osu.edu with a clear indication of the author and the author’s professional affiliation.

June 22, 2022 at 10:58 AM | Permalink


I don't need 5000 words or even 2000. Three will do fine: Restore mandatory guidelines.

The Booker majority all but invited Congress to do this provided that facts that would take the sentence above a statutory maximum would need to be proved BRD (in light of Blakely). If that were to be done, restoration of mandatory guidelines would go a long way to making the system look much more like what Congress enacted and intended, as Justice Stevens' dissent to the remedial portion of Booker compellingly argues.

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 22, 2022 5:17:14 PM

As you surely know, Bill, the USSC cannot make the guidelines mandatory, only Congress can do so. The USSC could say that all guidelines enhancement should be subject to proof BRD and jury findings, which might help us figure out how the guidelines would function now if made mandatory by Congress. Are you urging the new USSC to call for all guideline enhancement to be subject to proof BRD and jury findings? If so, I would eager draft a letter to this effect for both of us to sign.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jun 23, 2022 9:59:02 AM

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