Saturday, March 13, 2010
Doug Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy has an interesting post on the troubling implications of a recently released report by the U.S. Sentencing Commission indicating that the post-Booker increase in sentencing discretion has led to an increased correlation between sentence length and "the demographic characteristics" of some offenders. Doug's preliminary thought:
Though I will need to review this new report and its data closely before developing a detailing reaction to these findings, I will start by suggesting that my own anecdotal post-Bookerexperiences suggest that economic realities and the disparate efforts of prosecutors and defense counsel may account for worrisome disparities more than the determinations of sentencing judges. I fear there my be some systematic and structural biases, often influenced by socio-economic realities, that can result in prosecutors charging and bargaining a bit harder on certain types of offenders and that can result in defense counsel developing better mitigating arguments for certain types of offenders.