Bad Booker 'Fix'
This is from an email alert sent out this morning by the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers:
A disastrous "Booker fix" is scheduled for hearing and markup this afternoon before the House Crime Subcommittee. The provision, sneaked into a drug sentencing bill (H.R. 1528), would effectively make the guidelines a system of mandatory minimum sentences. If this provision is enacted, there will be almost nothing left of judicial discretion in sentencing: it would eliminate virtually every basis ever relied on by a judge to depart downward. If it were to pass, the Supreme Court likely would find the new "Guidelines" would be subject to constitutional challenge on almost the same grounds as Booker, and, after another year or two of uncertainly, we likely would be right back to where we are today. Due to a complete lack of reasonable notice, the judiciary, practitioners, academics and other experts have been denied the opportunity for meaningful input.
More information is available from NACDL here, and analysis from sentencing expert Doug Berman is here and here. In this post, Prof. Berman asks the insightful question: "Is this Booker fix a symptom of the post-Schiavo attack on the judiciary?"
Tell your congressional representative: Just say no to bad sentencing laws.
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