CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Friday, March 4, 2005

Booker Symposium Contributions Wanted

The McGeorge Law Review is pleased to announce its 2005/2006 symposium topic. This year's symposium will explore Federal Sentencing Guidelines in a Post-Booker world. The McGeorge Law Review is now soliciting articles to be published in early 2006.

The recent Supreme Court decision in U.S. v. Booker invalidated the Federal Sentencing Guidelines as a mandatory sentencing system concluding that the existing scheme violated a defendant's Sixth Amendment rights. It therefore determined that the Sixth Amendment prohibits the enhancement of sentences based on facts found independently by the district court under a preponderance of the evidence standard. Thus, in order to comply with the Sixth Amendment today, a defendant can only be sentenced under an advisory guidelines scheme.

The purpose of this symposium is to consider what a post-Booker world will or should look like. Although prospective authors are encouraged to address any relevant issue, possible issues to address are:

-How does Booker reflect on separation of power issues? Did the original guidelines demonstrate a distrust of the judiciary?

-Some members of Congress have expressed dissatisfaction with Booker because the case leaves discretion with judges. Efforts at overruling Booker (e.g., by making sentences mandatory) may reflect distrust of the judiciary. Are there separation of powers problems in such legislation? Even if not,

does the hostility towards Booker demonstrate an unhealthy bias against federal judges? -Are there retroactivity issues? Or does Booker save the day? -Prosecutorial discretion - What is the impact on prosecutors as opposed to judges?

-Discussion of discretionary sentencing considerations. What are or should be relevant factors in sentencing? -Will this cause a disparate impact on race/class/gender? -What will the impact be on juvenile offenders? -Will there be an impact in death penalty cases? -Who should make sentencing decisions? Sentencing varies depending on whether the defendant chooses a bench or jury trial or went to trial at all. -What is the impact on California's Three Strikes Law? -Blakely waivers - Are they a good idea? -Will Booker endure? Is it only temporary or here to stay?

The publication is scheduled for the March 2006 issue of the McGeorge Law Review. We are inviting those interested to commit to contributing an article on one of the above topics or come up with one on their own. To get a variety of perspectives, we will also accept contributions from more than one author on the same topic if differing views are presented.

Articles are not due until December 1, 2005. If you are interested in making a contribution, please contact Jennifer Fordyce, Chief Symposium Editor, at the information below. Consideration will be given to early expressions of interest in a given topic.

If you know someone who may be interested in making a contribution, please forward this message.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Jennifer Fordyce
Chief Symposium Editor
McGeorge Law Review
3200 Fifth Avenue
Sacramento, CA 95817
Phone: (916) 739-7036

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