DOJ's Witness at Senate Judic. Comm. Blakely Hearing

Law Prof Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy reports that William Mercer, US Attorney from Montana, will serve as the DOJ witness at Tuesday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Blakely.

Mercer, a contributor to the Federal Sentencing Reporter is somewhat noted (some might say notorious) for his complaints about judicial abuse of downward departure authority. Prior to passage of the PROTECT Act and its Feeney Amendment, Mercer testified before the US Sentencing Commission about cases where judges "evaded" lawful guidelines by using their departure authority.

Prof. Berman also has links to the text of two letters addressed to the US Sentencing Commission, one from the Practitioners' Advisory Group and the other from the Federal Defenders, concerning Tuesday's hearing and recommendations to Congress.

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