Calling for Just and Fair Sentencing Laws
Resolution of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Calling for Just and Fair Sentencing Laws
New Orleans, Louisiana
February 13, 2005
RESOLVED, that, in light of the decisions of the Supreme Court of the United States in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. __ , 125 S. Ct. 738 (Jan. 12, 2005), the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers urges the Congress of the United States to take the following steps to assure that federal sentencing practices, in compliance with all constitutional requirements, are just and fair and effectuate the goals of sentencing set forth in the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984:
1. Permit federal courts, as decided in Booker, to impose sentences "sufficient, but not greater than necessary,” to comply with the purposes of sentencing identified by Congress in 18 U.S.C. ' 3553, which requires that in determining the particular sentence courts shall consider all factors set out in ' 3553(a) including, but not limited to, the federal guidelines;
2. Direct the United States Sentencing Commission to assemble and analyze all available information regarding discretionary charging decisions made by the Department of Justice and sentences imposed by courts, including findings and conclusions of law and all other relevant information required by 18 U.S.C. ' 3553(c) and, in light of that information, submit a Report with Recommendations to the Congress within 12 months; and
3. While awaiting the Report from the Sentencing Commission, conduct hearings and solicit input from all constituents within the federal criminal justice system -- and consider information available regarding sentencing practices within the various states -- regarding how post-Booker sentencing practices and procedures conform to constitutional requirements and further just and wise sentencing policy, and how post-Booker sentencing practices compare to alternative options.