Judge: Follow Guidelines in All But Exceptional Circumstances
U.S. District Court Judge Paul Cassell has rushed to press with the first post-Booker decision and it's awful. You can read it here. As one lawyer e-mailed us, "Read it and Weep. The radical right has been planning for this." Two paragraphs in Cassell's opinion tell the story:
To be sure, reasonable minds may differ about whether the Guidelines are the best standard against which to measure the fairness of sentences. It is no secret that some judges believe sentences are too harsh, although the degree of judicial dissatisfaction with the Guidelines is easy to overstate.81 The fundamental fact remains, however, that the Guidelines are the only standard available to all judges around the country today. For that reason alone, the Guidelines should be followed in all but the most exceptional cases.
For all these reasons, the court concludes that in exercising its discretion in imposing sentences, the court will give heavy weight to the recommended Guidelines sentence in determining what sentence is appropriate. The court, in the exercise of its discretion, will only deviate from those Guidelines in unusual cases for clearly identified and persuasive reasons. This is the only course that implements the congressionally-mandated purposes behind imposing criminal sentences.”
|< Friday Humor - the 23rd Sigh | 9th Circuit Eviscerates 'Knock and Announce' Warrants >|