Sen. Kennedy Introduces Bill to Repeal Feeney Sentencing Provisions
Tuesday, Senator Kennedy, joined by Senators Leahy, Feingold, and Lautenberg, introduced S.1086 (The JUDGES Act) to repeal provisions of the PROTECT Act (Amber Alert Bill) that do not specifically deal with the prevention of the exploitation of children -- specifically the Feeney Amendment. A similar bill is being introduced in the House by Rep. Conyers.
The remarks of Sen. Kennedy and Sen. Leahy, beginning at S6711 of the Congressional Record of 5/20/03, included the following:
Mr. President, it is a privilege to join my colleagues in introducing this legislation on fairness in our Federal sentencing system. The Judicial Use of Discretion to Guarantee Equity in Sentencing Act, or the JUDGES Act, will repeal a number of controversial sentencing provisions that were added at the last moment to the recently enacted ``AMBER Alert law'' on missing, abducted, and exploited children.
These provisions--called the ``Feeney Amendment''--have nothing to do with protecting children, and everything to do with handcuffing judges and
eliminating fairness in our Federal sentencing system. As Chief Justice Rehnquist said, they ``do serious harm to the basic structure of the sentencing guidelines system and . . . seriously impair the ability of courts to impose just and responsible sentences.''
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