CrimProf Blog

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

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Booker Conference at Houston Law; CrimProfs Abound

HOUSTON, Nov. 15, 2005 – University of Houston Law Center's Criminal Justice Institute and the Houston Law Review present “The Booker Project: The Future of Federal Sentencing” on Nov. 18 at UH.  Federal judges, nationally-recognized scholars, and federal practitioners will examine the meaning and legacy of the controversial 2005 U.S. Supreme Court’s “Booker” decision that examined the constitutionality of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Registration is complimentary for students of any law school and the judiciary; however, all attendees are required to register in advance for conference planning purposes. For registration information, go to

The Booker Project brings together experts to address the future of federal sentencing in this new world of “advisory” guidelines.

Principal speakers include:

Professor Ron Wright from Wake Forest University School of Law, one of the leading scholars on sentencing commissions. He teaches and writes about Criminal Justice and Administrative Law. His areas of expertise include prosecutorial charging decisions, plea bargaining, crime politics, criminal sentencing and the use of sentencing commissions in state and federal government to develop sentencing rules. Before entering academia in 1988 he was a Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Professor Nancy King from Vanderbilt University Law School, a national expert on jury sentencing. A frequent contributor to conferences on jury research, her work focuses on juries and on the post-investigative features of the criminal process including plea bargaining, trials, evidence, sentencing, double jeopardy, and post-conviction review. She has written numerous articles on jury sentencing, the impact of the decision in Apprendi, capital sentencing, and a piece on the Blakely decision for the Federal Sentencing Reporter. She has authored or coauthored several articles and book chapters on state and federal sentencing issues, two of which have been cited in recent decisions of the United States Supreme Court. In the past year, she has testified before the United States Sentencing Commission, served as one of four panelists for an ALI/ABA web cast on Booker, and spoken about sentencing at Stanford, Duke, Columbia, Indiana, Illinois, and Brooklyn Law Schools.

A former federal prosecutor, Professor Frank Bowman, from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law, is recognized nationwide for his expertise in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. In 1995-96, he served as Special Counsel to the U. S. Sentencing Commission in Washington D.C. He is the co-author of the treatise, Federal Sentencing Guidelines Handbook. Prof. Bowman has testified before the U.S. Sentencing Commission as well as before Congress regarding sentencing law.

Professor Douglas Berman, from Ohio State University Moritz Law School, is a nationally-regarded expert in federal sentencing. A story in the Wall Street Journal featured his web log, Sentencing Law and Policy, which has been a principal source of information for practitioners and scholars about the Blakely and Booker decisions. He recently co-authored a new casebook, Sentencing Law and Policy: Cases, Statutes and Guidelines. He has published numerous articles on topics ranging from capital punishment to the federal sentencing guidelines. Prof. Berman also has served as an Editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter for nearly 10 years.

They will be joined by a number of notable commentators, including The Honorable Ricardo H. Hinojosa, Chairman, United States Sentencing Commission; James L. Turner, Assistant U.S. Attorney, Chief of the Appellate Division, Southern District of Texas; The Honorable Vanessa Gilmore, United States District Court, Southern District of Texas; Marjorie Meyers, Federal Public Defender, Southern District of Texas; Sandra Guerra Thompson, UH Law Foundation Professor of Law and Director of the Criminal Justice Institute at the UH Law Center.

For more information about the event, go to

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