Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Justices to Revisit Thorny Issue of Sentencing Guidelines in First Cases After Recess - New York Times
The guidelines should be thrown out, but if not, should certainly should be only advisory.
Judges should not be treated as punishment-bots
Justices to Revisit Thorny Issue of Sentencing Guidelines in First Cases After Recess - New York Times:
WASHINGTON, Feb. 19 — The Supreme Court returns on Tuesday from a month-long recess to face a daunting and urgent task: explaining what it meant two years ago when it ruled that the federal sentencing guidelines were to be treated as “advisory,” no longer binding on federal judges.
The decision that dropped that bombshell on the criminal justice system, United States v. Booker, has not penetrated public consciousness in the way that, say, the Miranda decision on the right against self-incrimination did a generation ago. But in its own way, it has been no less revolutionary, creating turmoil in criminal sentencing.
The justices will hear arguments on Tuesday morning in two cases that will provide the latest chapter, although almost certainly not the final one, in the court’s continuing and, to many, profoundly unsettling reappraisal of the roles of juries and judges in criminal sentencing.