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Sentencing Guidelines

NEWS
November 30, 2011
Maryland U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein is warning that a recent revision to the federal sentencing guidelines for crack and powder cocaine possession will lead to the release of hundreds of dangerous criminals onto the streets. But before crying wolf about a new crime wave, he ought to consider federal prosecutors' role in creating what he describes as an impending disaster. The fact is, most of the people currently in prison for drug violations aren't there because they committed violent crimes.
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NEWS
By Tricia Bishop | June 4, 2012
A West Baltimore man captured on video attacking a police officer on New Year's Eve was convicted of second-degree assault last month in a rare bit of swift justice in the city. Manuel Imel, 40, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with all but one year of the term suspended, for tackling an officer who was in the middle of arresting a second man. A recording of the incident was widely viewed online at WorldStarHipHop.com. It shows two officers trying to handcuff a man in the street as a crowd watches, apparently upset.
NEWS
By Scott Higham and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | October 10, 1998
It's the kind of case that makes defense lawyers cringe.In March, two lawyers persuaded a federal jury to acquit their client of murder in a killing committed to protect a bustling heroin and cocaine ring that was run from the Westport community in South Baltimore.But, because he was convicted of heading the ring and because the killing was committed in furtherance of the drug conspiracy, Dwayne Holland, 35, was held accountable for the death of Antonio Woodson and was sentenced yesterday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
NEWS
By Stephanie Hanes and Stephanie Hanes,SUN STAFF | August 14, 2003
The man who shot Ian Mitchell last year and introduced fear to Reisterstown's leafy Chartley neighborhood pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted first-degree murder. Jeremy Alisaid, 24, could face life in prison for firing at Mitchell, 24, who was working on his car at his parents' Glyndon Drive home when Alisaid and another man walked up to him. Alisaid's lawyer, Margaret Mead, said in court yesterday that she will ask Baltimore County Circuit Judge Vicki Ballou-Watts to sentence Alisaid to the lesser time recommended by the state's sentencing guidelines - 18 to 25 years.
NEWS
February 12, 1996
AMID CRITICISM OF the minimum sentence for a Howard County man convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the 1993 chloroform death of his girlfriend, attention is again focused on the state's judicial sentencing guidelines and on their application.The case poses troubling questions for many who support the concept of sentencing guidelines and the traditional independence of the judiciary. Widespread reaction seemed a mixture of perplexity and outrage at the four-month sentence handed down last month by Circuit Judge Raymond J. Kane Jr. to Melvin R. Bowers, who admitted placing a chloroform-soaked rag over the face of his companion in bed. Victims rights advocates charged that the short jail term reflected a devaluation of human life by the court, and little example for deterrence of future such crimes.
NEWS
August 8, 2003
U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL John Ashcroft likes to trumpet his tough-on-crime credentials - but going after federal judges who depart from federal sentencing guidelines isn't reason to toot his horn. Mr. Ashcroft is among those engaged in an attack on the federal judiciary's independence. Federal prosecutors are now required to report to the boss those judges who mete out sentences lower than the guidelines require, according to a July 28 memo from Mr. Ashcroft to U.S. attorneys. It stems from a new law aimed at curtailing the judges' flexibility.
NEWS
By David G. Savage and David G. Savage,LOS ANGELES TIMES | October 3, 2007
WASHINGTON -- Hearing arguments in a pair of drug cases, the Supreme Court justices said yesterday that they were inclined to give sentencing judges more leeway - but not total freedom - to impose shorter prison terms. In the 1980s, Congress adopted sentencing guidelines that set the range of prison terms for all federal crimes. The stiff guidelines and the mandatory minimum sentencing laws have swelled the prison population. Last year, 181,622 inmates were in federal prisons, up from 24,363 in 1980.
NEWS
December 4, 1991
In fighting crime, there are no quick solutions. Instead of deterring offenders, a federal system of sentencing guidelines introduced in 1987 has produced overcrowded prisons and inequities that should embarrass a country devoted to the ideal of justice for all. As David Simon reported in The Sunday Sun, mandatory sentencing guidelines, together with a series of mandatory sentences for some crimes and the elimination of federal parole, have caused a...
NEWS
By Josh Meyer and Josh Meyer,Tribune Washington Bureau | April 30, 2009
WASHINGTON -The Obama administration signaled a sharp departure Wednesday from 20 years of federal policy and called on Congress to close the huge disparity in prison sentences for those dealing crack versus powdered cocaine, agreeing with critics who say it is unfair to African-Americans. Newly confirmed Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer said the administration believes the so-called mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines are so inherently unfair that they have undermined trust in the country's judicial institutions, particularly among minorities who bear the brunt of the law. Breuer and other witnesses testifying before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee said the policies, launched when authorities feared crack was becoming an epidemic in the mid-1980s, are based on faulty assumptions that have long since been discredited, including that crack users were far more violent and dangerous to the community than powder cocaine users.
NEWS
August 6, 1993
U.S. District Court Judge John G. Davies' sentencing of Sgt. Stacey Koon and Officer Laurence Powell, the two Los Angeles police officers convicted in the Rodney King beating, was much more lenient than most observers anticipated. They could be out in 26 or 27 months.Federal prosecutors recommended sentences that would have kept one of the officers in prison for at least six years and the other for a minimum of just over seven and a half years. So we are not surprised Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. of the NAACP charged that the sentences "display a wanton disparity, discrimination and inequity based on race.
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