Posts tagged with: "sentencing"
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20 Jan 2014, 2:40 pm by Doug B.
Oral argument in the fascinating Supreme Court case of Paroline v. United States now is just a couple of days away, and this new AP article provides effective background on the case while also helping to spotlight some reasons I... [read post]
24 May 2013, 4:57 am by Doug B.
The title of this post is the headline of this notable new National Review commentary by David Keene, a former president of the National Rifle Association and the American Conservative Union, explaining why conservatives should support the Justice Safety Valve... [read post]
1 May 2013, 7:32 am by Doug B.
The question in the title of this post is prompted by this lengthy new Bloomberg article about the defense's sentencing submission in a high-profile, white-collar federal sentencing scheduled for later this month. The Bloomberg article is headlined "Chiasson Seeks Leniency... [read post]
13 Sep 2013, 6:09 am by Doug B.
A helpful reader alerted me to this federal sentencing story from West Virginia which provides a useful reminder that federal judges sometimes use their increased post-Booker sentencing discretion to impose sentences above recommended guideline ranges (and may do so even... [read post]
18 Feb 2013, 2:19 pm by Doug B.
Regular readers know that, often on the eve of a high-profile or unique sentencing proceeding, I urge folks to imagine being the judge and to propose a just and effective sentence for the defendant. (See, e.g., prior "you be the... [read post]
27 Feb 2013, 7:08 pm by Doug B.
Regular readers know that I have never been a fan of the so-called "presumption of reasonableness" for within-guideline sentences adopted by some circuit courts after Booker . This is because, despite its repeated reference and application in the circuits which... [read post]
10 Oct 2013, 8:26 am by Doug B.
Regular readers have of late become familiar with the remarkable series of opinions being issued by US District Judge John Gleeson in which he forcefully expresses his deep concerns with how federal prosecutors can and will use mandatory minimum sentencing... [read post]
12 Aug 2013, 3:43 pm by Doug B.
I am back on line, and now able to link to and provide some extensive excerpts from Attorney General Eric Holder's high-profile remarks earlier today at the Annual Meeting of the American Bar Association's House of Delegates. Everyone should make... [read post]
11 Aug 2013, 10:28 am by Doug B.
A few weeks ago in this post, titled "A few shotgun shells landed a man 15 years in federal prison," I reported on a remarkable federal sentencing story out of Tennessee involving an extreme application of the 15-year mandatory minimum... [read post]
19 Nov 2013, 11:40 am by Doug B.
I am pleased to see that the US Sentencing Commission now has up on its website another terrific new data document in its series of reader-friendly "Quick Facts" publications. (Regular readers may recall from this prior post that the USSC... [read post]
12 Aug 2013, 8:03 am by Doug B.
I am about to head off-line for the next few hours, and the conspiracy theorist in me lead me to think that DOJ has been reading my e-mail and that AG Eric Holder specifically decided to give his big sentencing... [read post]
10 Apr 2013, 10:55 am by Doug B.
The title of this post is drawn from this early report via Jennifer Rubin of the Washington Post concerning Senator Rand Paul's notable policy speech today at Howard University. Here is some context and more content from Rubin's strong first-cut... [read post]
21 Oct 2013, 9:23 am by Doug B.
Continuing an important on-going debate in Illinois over use of mandatory minimum sentences to deal with the problem of violent gun crimes, the Chicago Sun-Times today has this extended editorial headlined "Mandatory-minimum sentencing doesn’t work." Here are excerpts: Mandatory minimum... [read post]
11 Jun 2013, 9:45 am by Matt Kaiser
We’re still waiting on an affirmative action ruling, but yesterday the Supreme Court handed down an interesting decision on the Ex Post Facto Clause and the federal sentencing guidelines. Continue reading »Follow Above the Law on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook.Tags: Constitutional Law, Crime, Elena Kagan, Ex Post Facto, Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Marvin Peugh, Matt Kaiser, Peugh v. United States, SCOTUS, Sentencing, Sentencing Law, Supreme Court, U.S. Sentencing… [read post]
8 Jul 2012, 11:45 pm by zshapiro
Under the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 the quantity of powder cocaine requiring a mandatory five year or ten year was 100 times the amount of crack cocaine requiring the same mandatory sentence. For example a five year mandatory sentence was triggered by either five grams of crack cocaine or 500 grams of powder cocaine. The tremendous ratio was decried by many including the United States Sentencing Commission. It was in part responsible for the outrageous percentage of African Americans in the… [read post]
20 Sep 2011, 8:46 am by nflatow
By Nkechi Taifa, senior policy analyst for the Open Society Policy Center. She will discuss drug policy reform during two panel discussions at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference this week. For a quarter of a century mandatory minimum sentences have resulted in egregiously severe and harsh punishments which often do not fit the crime, have racially disparate outcomes, increase overcrowding, and exacerbate prison costs. These sentences are the result of a war… [read post]
5 Mar 2012, 9:11 pm by Tom Withers
As I've mentioned before, one of the purposes of this blog is to raise the quality of representation by providing access to pleadings, documents and ideas that will hopefully improve the practice across the board. In that regard, today, the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse posted online their new tool that allows users to access data regarding sentences imposed by judge, by district, by charge. Access does require a subscription. Diligent counsel should be able to work the relevant data… [read post]
7 Jan 2013, 6:30 am by D. Daxton White
According to reports, three major players behind Minnesota’s second-largest Ponzi scheme were recently sentenced to a total of 57 1/2 years in prison and ordered to pay more than $155 million in restitution. Jason “Bo” Beckman, described as a kingpin, received 30 years in prison. Co-conspirator Gerald Durand got 20 years. And Christopher Pettengill, who testified for the prosecution against his former colleagues, got 7 1/2 years. The sentencing of a fourth defendant, Patrick Kiley,… [read post]
22 Oct 2012, 1:50 pm by Michael O'Hear
From the time of its decision in Harmelin v. Michigan (1991), affirming a mandatory sentence of life without parole for a drug trafficking offense, through its decision in Ewing v. California (2003), affirming a de facto life sentence for shoplifting, the Supreme Court showed little interest in using the Eighth Amendment Cruel and Unusual Punishments Clause as a basis to limit the length of prison sentences.  More recently, however, the Court has begun to extend the principles it developed to… [read post]
22 Jun 2010, 5:00 am by zshapiro
Percy Dillon was convicted of various drug offenses including some involving rock cocaine (also known as crack) in 1993, He was sentenced under the mandatory guidelines that were in effect at that time to 322 months in prison. At sentencing the judge said that if he had a choice he would sentence Dillon to five years but the guidelines left him with no choice. In 2005 the Supreme Court in United States v. Booker found the mandatory guidelines an unconstitutional violation of the Sixth Amendment… [read post]