Welcome to the Prison Talk Online Community! Take a Minute and Sign Up Today!






Go Back   Prison Talk > U.S. REGIONAL FORUMS > FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM > Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat
Register Entertainment FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Federal General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat Topics & Discussions relating to the Federal Prison & the Criminal Justice System that do not fit into any other Federal sub-forum category. Please feel free to also introduce yourself to other members in the state and talk about whatever topics come to mind that may not have anything to do with prison.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-14-2005, 08:25 AM
HanginOn HanginOn is offline
Registered User
 

Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Austin, Tx
Posts: 824
Thanks: 3
Thanked 8 Times in 4 Posts
Thumbs up Great Article From Famm: Understanding Booker/fanfan

Understanding Booker and Fanfan: Federal sentencing guidelines are advisory, but mandatory minimum sentences still stand


Dear FAMM friends,

On January 12 in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal sentencing guidelines are in part unconstitutional because they direct judges to increase sentences based on facts not found by a jury.

The Supreme Court fixed the problem by removing the part of the law that tells judges they must use the guidelines to impose sentences.

The courts must now consider, but are not bound to impose, a sentence according to the guidelines. The sentencing guidelines are now advisory - but mandatory minimum sentences are NOT affected by this ruling.


WHAT DID NOT HAPPEN?

The Supreme Court decisions do not affect mandatory minimum sentencing laws, the laws that Congress passes requiring fixed sentences for certain federal offenses, mainly involving drugs and weapons. Judges must still impose those mandatory minimum sentences, which are usually 5, 10, 15, 20 or more years in length, and are usually specified as a mandatory minimum in the defendant or prisoner's pre-sentence investigation report (PSR).

The Court's decision only affects federal sentencing guidelines, giving judges increased discretion. Unfortunately, mandatory minimum sentencing laws remain untouched and could become even more attractive to members of Congress who want to rein in judges. To learn the difference between mandatory minimum sentences and sentencing guidelines, go to http://www.famm.org/si_federal_sentencing.htm


CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM

Federal sentencing guidelines are now advisory, allowing judges to tailor sentences to the defendant's role in the offense. No longer will judges be forced to calculate penalties under the sentencing guidelines grid and deliver a sentence they believe over-punishes the defendant. Instead of punishing by the numbers, the guidelines have become "guidance" for judges to use in considering what sentence is appropriate for each defendant.

Justice Breyer's opinion cites FAMM's amicus brief for the principle that punishment should return to the concept, embodied in law by Congress, that a sentence must be "sufficient, but not greater than necessary" to comply with the purposes of sentencing. With advisory guidelines, judges will be better able to breathe life into that principle.

Of course, these advisory guidelines are not ideal. For example, they continue the use of acquitted and uncharged conduct to increase sentence length, and retain relaxed evidentiary rules at sentencing that do not ensure accurate outcomes. That said, for now, the advisory guidelines are a workable sentencing system that Congress, the judiciary, and the public can live with while FAMM and others work with Congress to improve our federal sentencing system.

WHAT IS FAMM DOING?

FAMM is evaluating the opinion to determine whom the opinion might benefit and how prisoners can seek relief, if any is warranted.

We cannot yet answer your questions about whether the opinion can be applied retroactively, that is to people whose sentences were finalized on appeal before the decision was handed down. We are evaluating the opinion and will post information on our website.

DEFENDANTS & PRISONERS - IF YOU:

- Are awaiting trial, plea proceeding or sentencing: consult your lawyer.
- Have been sentenced but not yet appealed, or believe you cannot appeal: consult your lawyer.
- Have appealed and the appeal is pending: consult your lawyer.
- If your appeal has been decided but you are considering an appeal to the Supreme Court: consult your lawyer.

- If you are preparing a petition under 28 U.S.C. sec. 2255 (your first post-conviction petition) and your deadline is approaching, you may have a Booker claim. We are not in a position now to advise you on how to state that claim, however, you should not delay past the deadline for your petition. We are evaluating the decision and will try to have more information available shortly.

- If you have already submitted your first post-conviction petition under 28 U.S.C. sec. 2255 and it is still pending, you may wish to supplement your petition with a Booker claim. We are not in a position at this time to advise you on how to state that claim.

- If you have filed and lost your 28 U.S.C. sec. 2255 claim, you may have some time to determine whether you can revisit any Booker issues in your case. We encourage you to wait until we can complete our evaluation. We will provide information on our website and in print form.
FINDING AN ATTORNEY

FAMM is not a law firm and cannot provide lawyer referrals. If you are considering hiring a lawyer, the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL) has a member directory of lawyers on their website. NACDL does not do referrals and can't help with individual cases. You should know that the lawyer's membership in NACDL is not an endorsement. You should exercise your judgment and research his or her ability and experience in federal post-conviction matters. Do not call the NACDL looking for a lawyer.

The American Bar Association (ABA) also has a "lawyer locator" service that can be accessed on their website. Again, you should know that the lawyer's membership in ABA is not an endorsement. You should exercise your judgment and research his or her ability and experience in federal post-conviction matters.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

You or a loved one should continue to visit http://www.famm.org/ and read our information on the Booker and Fanfan cases, and links to other excellent sources of legal information that we provide there.

If you do not have Internet access, we will send you a packet of information as soon as it is available. Please give us your name, address, telephone number and email address.

Printer-friendly version (in Adobe Acrobat format).

CONTACT FAMM

FAMM
1612 K St. NW
Suite 700
Washington, D.C. 20006
Tel: (202) 822-6700
Fax: (202) 822-6704
Email: famm@famm.org
Website: http://www.famm.org/
__________________
<script language="JavaScript" src="http://webapps.nerdsonsite.com/utility/countdown.cgi?year=2017&month=6&day=28&offset=offs et"></script> Days till my heart heals

Last edited by HanginOn; 01-14-2005 at 08:26 AM..
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Finally - A positive article about prison relationships! egs Husbands & Boyfriends in Prison 24 10-18-2009 10:42 PM
Article by Innocent but Incarcerated Vietnam Vet toi_ama Letters & Stories from Inmates & X-Cons 4 05-10-2008 02:54 PM
State Bill 2750 Adea New Jersey General Prison Talk, Introductions & Chit Chat 6 02-24-2004 09:33 PM
RE: DNA Testing... ~cheenna~ Texas General Prison Talk 1 07-16-2002 07:11 AM
Protest DNA Denials Joy Death Row & Capital Punishment Discussions 2 07-14-2002 08:04 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 08:48 PM.
Copyright © 2001- 2019 Prison Talk Online
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Website Design & Custom vBulletin Skins by: Relivo Media
Message Board Statistics