Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Morning News

I have returned (for good) after completing one week of intensive ethics instruction. So, from here on out, I promise to "do the right thing."

In this post I've linked to a few news stories. Later today, I will post some commentary on at least two of the briefs filed last week in Booker and Fanfan.

Vikram Amar has written a Findlaw article entitled, "When -- If Ever -- Can Facts Found By Judges Lengthen Criminal Sentences? A Key Question Now Facing the Supreme Court." Among other things, Amar addresses the argument that "statutory" means statutory, which arguably saves the guidelines, which are not statutes. He says:

To put the point slightly differently, the more Blakely is about the relationship between the jury and the judge, rather than about the relationship between the judiciary and the legislature, the less important the word "statutory" should be in the Blakely formulation.

Also from Findlaw, columnist Ed Lazarus wrote an article entitled,"
The Crucial Criminal Cases that Will Start the New Supreme Court Term: Testing the Federal Sentencing Guidelines' Constitutionality." The article discusses the role of discretion in sentencing, how the guidelines can be improved and what a new guidelines system should look like.

From the Washington Post, we get "Quattrone's Fate Lies in Firm Hands." Last May, investment banker Paul Quattrone was convicted of
obstructing a federal securities investigation and attempted witness-tampering. The Post article notes that Quattrone's lawyers fear that U.S. District Judge Richard Owen will impose a harsh sentence on Quattrone which could land him in jail for 11-16 months. Curiously, the article suggests that a longer prison term may be possible, if Judge Owen declares the guidelines unconstitutional. This observation is followed two paragraphs later by the statement that the Second Circuit has upheld the guidelines.

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