"My own two cents: I found the Senate hearing very heartening with its consistently thoughtful and balanced discussion of many tough issues and its hints that at least a few Senators might want to re-think some major elements of the existing federal sentencing scheme. In the debate over the current 'chaos' and the need for a quick fix, I continue to think it is very significant that the USSC asserts 'that a majority of the cases sentenced under the federal guidelines do not receive sentencing enhancements that could potentially implicate Blakely.' USSC Written Testimony at p.2 (emphasis added). Finally, since DOJ representative William Mercer's suggested that the time for legislative action might be in August, I am fearful that DOJ, if it feels that judges are low-balling sentences post-Blakely, will return to the Hill later this summer to seek a pro-prosecution 'fix.'"I would really like to see what the USSC is referring to when it states that the majority of federal sentences do not involve Blakely sentencing enhancements (assuming Blakely applies, which the USSC also states it does not). In my experience, I cannot make such an assertion. We should get these numbers from the USSC. Ever hear of relevant conduct, role in the offense, abuse of position of trust, weapons enhancements, enhancements based on amount of loss, etc.? And, even if only 20% involved Blakely factors, it would still be a big problem, I would think. I do agree with Professor Berman 100% as to his observation: "I am fearful that DOJ, if it feels that judges are low-balling sentences post-Blakely, will return to the Hill later this summer to seek a pro-prosecution 'fix.'"
Wednesday, July 14, 2004
Professor Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy had this to say:
Posted by Tom Lincoln at 7/14/2004