Sentencing Commission's Booker Report Online

Via Sentencing Law and Policy, the 277 page final report of the U.S. Sentencing Commission on the impact of the Supreme Court decision in Booker v. U.S. which made the guidelines advisory rather than mandatory is now available free online. (pdf) Every federal criminal defense lawyer will want a copy.

Republicans in Congress have been toying with the idea of making all sentences mandatory minimums to avoid having judges issue sentences below the guidelines. Hopefully, this report will show that's not necessary.

The majority of federal cases continue to be sentenced in conformance with the sentencing guidelines. National data show that when within-range sentences and government-sponsored, below-range sentences are combined, the rate of sentencing in conformance with the sentencing guidelines is 85.9 percent. This conformance rate remained stable throughout the year that followed Booker.

....The severity of sentences imposed has not changed substantially across time. The average sentence length after Booker has increased.

If the cart ain't broke, don't fix it.

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