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No Need for a Booker Fix (From the President)
By Lisa M. Wayne
From the President columns.
There is no need to reverse course and return to the dark days of the mandatory federal sentencing regime that the U.S. Supreme Court held unconstitutional in United States v. Booker. No one would argue that the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines are perfect. The shift to advisory guidelines following Booker, however, has advanced the goals of the Sentencing Reform Act and resulted in a more reasonable federal sentencing system. It is true that the sentencing system needed a fix, and the fix came through the Booker decision.
Recent and not-so-recent proposals call for a return to a system of mandatory, or at least more binding, guidelines. These calls are not coming from the judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys operating within the system on a daily basis â€” they overwhelmingly agree that the impact of Booker has been positive. Rather, the calls are from the U.S. Sentencing Commission itself, seeking to impose stricter adherence to its dictates, and a variety of polit
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