Monday, April 25, 2005

People Are Saying - No Way to Sentencing Change!

The so-called "Booker-fix" found in HR 1528 is not going unnoticed.  Doug Berman in his extraordinary  sentencing blog has been discussing it at length including his mention of the United States Sentencing Commission opposition here.

But more are speaking out in opposition to this bill.   The ABA has sent a list of pointers expressing opposition to the bill (Download hr1528_bullet_points.pdf) You have a long list of former United States Attorneys who signed a letter expressing opposition ( Download hr1528_former_usadoj.pdf ), and also now a list of influential business people expressing opposition (Download business_letter_re_hr_1528_1.pdf).  The individuals from the business community state in part:

"the federal criminal laws exert substantial influence over the nation’s economy and the conduct of U.S. commerce. Congress certainly recognized this through passing legislation such as Sarbanes-Oxley to encourage certain kinds of corporate executive behavior and discourage inappropriate and illegal behaviors. Before you begin any effort to re-legislate criminal sentencing, we strongly urge you to take the time and steps necessary to gather data from the business community regarding the current sentencing system and its ability to influence meaningfully the corporate behaviors that the Sentencing Guidelines are intended to affect. We suggest that as a part of that process, you should receive expert input from a wide range of sources, including the business community, regarding the likely impact of any new proposal."

And signing this letter to Sensenbrenner and Conyors are far from the typical groups one finds in opposition to sentencing issues.  They are:   

U.S. Chamber of Commerce,  National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, Association of Corporate Counsel, American Chemistry Council, Business Civil Liberties, Inc. and the Corporate Environmental Enforcement Council.

It sounds like Congress should listen. 


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