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April 22, 2024

Rounding up (modest) press coverage of US Sentencing Commission's unanimous vote to limit use of acquitted conduct in guideline calculations

As reported here, last week the the US Sentencing Commission voted unanimous to promulgate a number of notable new guideline amendments, including most notably an amendment to preclude the use of acquitted conduct in guideline calculations.  (The promulgated amendments passed by the Commission are posted here).  Perhaps because acquitted conduct sentencing reform is something I consider symbolically meaningful (and overdue), I view this unanimous guideline amendment to be a pretty big deal.  But, perhaps unsurprisingly, the USSC's vote has garnered only modest press coverage to date.  Still, I figured it was worth a quick round-up:

From Bloomberg Law, "US Sentencing Commission Votes for Major Guideline Amendments"

From Law360, "Sentencing Commission Limits Acquitted Conduct Sentencing"

From Reason, "U.S. Sentencing Commission Restricts Federal Judges' Ability To Use Acquitted Conduct at Sentencing: The little-known but outrageous practice allowed judges to enhance defendants' sentences using conduct a jury acquitted them of.

From Reuters, "US panel prohibits judges from sentencing for 'acquitted conduct'"

Also, a Senator's press release:  "Durbin Applauds Sentencing Commission's Unanimous Vote To Prohibit Acquitted Conduct From Being Used In Sentencing Guidelines: The Announcement Comes After Durbin, Grassley Reintroduced Their Prohibiting Punishment Of Acquitted Conduct Act"

Sharp-eyed readers may recognize that the Reuters heading is a bit inaccurate becayse the USSC did not (and perhaps feels it cannot) entirely prohibit sentencing on the basis of acquitted conduct given applicable sentencing statutes.  Rather, the Commission voted unanimously to prohibit courts from considering acquitted conduct when calculating the applicable guidelines.  As noted in the press release from Senator Burbin's office, it may be still necessary for Congress to enact the Prohibiting Punishment Of Acquitted Conduct Act in order to completely preclude judges at sentencing from ever considering acquitted conduct.

Prior recent related post:

April 22, 2024 at 02:42 PM | Permalink


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