Sentencing Guideline and Mandatory Minimum Fixes
In the last post I wrote about today's Congressional hearing on Booker and FanFan and possible fixes to the sentencing guidelines. I also mentioned that next week the U.S. Sentencing Commission will hold a similar hearing and Law Prof Doug Berman of Sentencing Law and Policy will be a witness (pdf).
That got me thinking about the time I was a witness at a Sentencing Commission hearing--in August, 1996--and how much I complained about both the federal sentencing statutes and guidelines. Here is the hearing transcript , my testimony begins at page 60. I told the Commission that our federal sentencing system had become "morally bankrupt." And I submitted a legislative fix--greeted favorably by one Commissioner. The chances of my being asked to speak today, in the Bush era, or speaking that boldly again: probably nil. Here's some of what I said (this is the oral testimony, not the prepared statement, with a few grammatical cleanups.)
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