Saturday, July 03, 2004

Prof. Frank Bowman Offers the US Sentencing Commission Some Advice

Shortly after Blakely was decided, Professor Frank Bowman wrote a memo outlining his thoughts on the implications of the decision and offering a few suggestions for how the Sentencing Commission could respond to the opinion.

An interesting part of the memo suggests the following changes to "save" the Guidelines:

"Assuming that one wants to preserve the fundamental Guidelines structure or at least to avoid the risks presented by letting Blakely play itself out, what can be done? I believe that the Guidelines structure can be preserved essentially unchanged with a simple modification – amend the sentencing ranges on the Chapter 5 Sentencing Table to increase the top of each guideline range to the statutory maximum of the offense(s) of conviction."

Professor Bowman is a respected criminal law scholar, especially in the area of sentencing. Professor Bowman served as Special Counsel to the US Sentencing Commission from 1995 to 1996, in addition to working for the DOJ and US Attorney's Office earlier in his career. Accordingly, his memo will probably be read very carefully by the Sentencing Commission, among others.

You can read the memo here.

(A special thanks to Tom and Amy at Goldstein & Howe for the link.)

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