February 2, 2005
DOJ's Response to Booker: More Reporting on Judges
Doug Berman on Sentencing Law & Policy mentions the "buzz" about a Department of Justice memo on sentencing after Booker (post here), and an article in the Wall Street Journal (here) confirms the memo as issued by James Comey, the Deputy Attorney General. [Doug is quoted in the article] The memo states that prosecutors should take steps to ensure that judges continue to follow the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and -- more importantly -- to report to Main Justice judges who sentence outside the (now advisory) Guidelines range or who do not calculate a sentence under the Guidelines. The reporting aspect is similar to the requirements of the Feeney Amendment regarding reports to Congress about the sentencing practices of judges, a point that was particularly galling to the federal judiciary, especially Chief Justice Rehnquist. The Department appears to be gearing up for a legislative solution based on its "findings" from reports from local U.S. Attorney's offices.
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