Recently in Sentencing Category
What was unusual in today's hearing was testimony noting the deficiencies in UI's Pollyanna pronouncements by Dr. Matt DeLisi of Iowa State University and Dr. Jeffrey Sedgwick of Keswick Advisors.
DeLisi testified, "The Urban Institute proposal to potentially release 36,000 inmates over the next 10 years would produce an estimated 540,000 to 612,000 new Index crimes."
Sedgwick testified, "To summarize the lessons from the crime decline of the 1990s (which has continued, though at a much slower rate, up until 2010), one would fairly say that, among the criminal justice policies proffered as causes, the case for effectiveness is stronger for incarceration than for crime prevention or intervention programs. And yet there are those who still earnestly advocate a redistribution of criminal justice funds from incarceration to its alternatives."
Louisiana follows the rule of Teague v. Lane. Miller is a procedural rule, not a substantive one, and it does not fall within the small (extinct?) class of precedents deemed "watershed" rules.
The case is State v. Tate, 2012-OK-2763.
Prather has had trouble with the law before. In 2006, he faced a mountain of charges: six counts each of attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault. That was in addition to charges of use of a handgun in a crime and conspiracy to attempt murder.
The charges stemmed from a dispute between Prather and some family members.
Under a deal with prosecutors, he pleaded guilty to two counts of first-degree assault and and was set to serve five years.
But in late 2007, Prather's sentence was reconsidered. A judge agreed to turn Prather over to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for substance abuse treatment.
Court records show that by early 2009, Prather had been discharged by a nonprofit rehab program, Second Genesis, Inc.
Now is that cool or what? Mr. Prather goes berserk in 2006, gets a sweet deal from some (fortunately for them) unnamed prosecutors, gets all of five years, then gets "reconsidered" by some (also unnamed) judge, is turned over to a "rehab" program, which promptly releases him because they
don't give a good God damn were, I suppose, satisfied with his "progress."
Anyone care to take a guess about how much accountability there will be for the prosecutors, the judge, or the "rehab" people?
The suspect [Joseph Patterson] in the alleged beating death of NFL star Adrian Peterson's two-year-old son reportedly has a history of domestic violence against women and children....Court records show Patterson was previously indicted in 2012 on counts of simple assault of a woman and her 3-year-old son, The Argus Leader reported....The report says Patterson was sentenced to a year in jail for the charges and for violating a no contact order, but the sentence was suspended on terms that he undergo counseling.
Back in 2011, I had a post titled "Second Circuit Clerks, Get Ready: Judge Weinstein's New Opus Concluding Mandatory Minimum For Child Porn Distribution is Unconstitutional (At Least for Younger Defendants)." My post began:
There are a lot of debates about "judicial activism" in which some question whether the term has real meaning. Fortunately, there is always Jack Weinstein, whose activism is so over-the-top that it easily quiets the debates. The latest contribution to the Second Circuit's reversal docket is a 400-page sentencing opinion from earlier this week, United States v. C.R..
I ended my snarky post with this line: "One thing is for sure: When the Second Circuit reverses Judge Weinstein, they will do it in fewer than 400 pages."
The Second Circuit handed down its reversal today in United States v. Reingold. The page count: 50 pages for the majority, with a 6-page concurrence.
The gravamen of the original judgment was -- remember -- that medical conditions were constitutionally unacceptable because of overcrowding.
There are several ways to relieve overcrowding. One is to release criminals to take up where they left off (which is what most of them do, given the >50% recidivism rate). That would seem less than optimal, unless one is of the view that more crime more quickly is a good idea.
A second would be to build more prisons. This would cost a lot of money. Since California borrows to a fare-thee-well for things the governing party there views as important, such as transfer payments to its don't-work-for-a-living constituencies, borrowing would seem to be an option. But we are told (very selectively, that is) that borrowing, at least for new prisons, is a no-no. In any event, it's unlikely to happen, and even if it does, the opening of those prisons is years off.
A third option -- the one the court blocks -- is sending inmates to other, less crowded facilities. Why any sensible person would view this as a bad idea is mystifying. The answer to overcrowding is to get less crowded, no?
So what's going on?
...compel her to join in the effort to repeal mandatory minimum sentencing provisions for most drug and non-violent offenses. Not only are mandatory sentences in most instances unduly harsh, coercive, and inefficacious, but they allow for an arbitrary and discriminatory application that is essentially unreviewable by courts. The author distinguishes this argument against mandatory minimum penalties from the so-called "Smart on Crime" movement, by grounding a prosecutor's duty to promote sentencing reform in ethical reasoning as opposed to pragmatic or cost-savings considerations.
Update: Rereading William Baude's piece after seeing his comment to the original post, perhaps I should say there were three on the other side and one neutral.
Update 2: Will has a post on the debate at the Volokh Conspiracy.