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Sentencing Guidelines

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.
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NEWS
By Andrea F. Siegel, The Baltimore Sun | December 21, 2010
A Waldorf man convicted of trying to kill his pregnant girlfriend, a Crofton hairdresser, was given a life sentence Tuesday by an Anne Arundel County judge. Prosecutors contended Charles Brandon Martin, 33, sent a letter from his jail cell after he was convicted in the 2008 shooting that disabled Jodi Torok that sought to have the man acquitted of being the triggerman killed. Jail officials intercepted the letter and gave it to prosecutors. The letter was authenticated by a Maryland State Police expert, over the objection of the defense, at the hearing before Judge Pamela L. North.
NEWS
By Scott Higham and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | September 7, 1996
It was a bad day for Milton Tillman.Fresh from serving a two-year sentence for trying to bribe a Baltimore zoning officer, the one-time owner of a popular nightspot was back in federal court yesterday, this time to find out how long he would spend behind bars for his convictions in a sweeping tax-fraud case.His attorneys said Tillman learned his lesson. They said he should get credit for the time he already served. They said he didn't lie to his probation officer about a criminal conviction; a lie could increase his time in federal prison.
NEWS
By Matthew Dolan and Matthew Dolan,SUN REPORTER | December 12, 2007
WASHINGTON -- A day after the Supreme Court restored substantial power to federal judges to hand down sentences below recommended guidelines, the U.S. Sentencing Commission gave them additional authority to reduce prison terms for those already locked up for crack cocaine- related crimes. The commission's unanimous vote yesterday was viewed by many legal experts as a belated turning point in the often fractious, two-decade-old debate over how best to deal with defendants who violate federal drug laws.
NEWS
By Scott Higham and Scott Higham,SUN STAFF | July 11, 1997
A pedophile who molested two Baltimore County brothers a decade ago will learn today the punishment he faces for sending one of them a videotape containing sickening scenes of childhood sex in 1995.Within 15 months of the mailing of the tape, Justin Wilke, 19, his brother, Matt, 22, and their father, Don, 56, took their own lives, filling their cars with clouds of carbon monoxide in separate suicides.Peter Dudley Albertsen II, 35, a former camp counselor and substitute city school teacher, faces up to 10 years in prison for trafficking in child pornography when he is sentenced today by U.S. District Judge William M. Nickerson.
NEWS
By Carl T. Rowan | January 12, 1996
BOCA RATON, Fla. -- How much latitude should judges have in sentencing people for serious crimes?Do we accept the fact that no two criminals (or criminal acts) are precisely the same, and conclude that judges must be allowed )) to factor in special circumstances?Or do we say that judges, like most people, have biases that, unless circumscribed by strict guidelines, bring intolerable double and triple standards to law enforcement?Those questions are now before the U.S. Supreme Court as the Rodney King beating case has spun off one more spasm of divisiveness.
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 Henry Weinstein and Henry Weinstein,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 22, 2004
Asserting that a Supreme Court decision last month had created "a wave of instability in the federal sentencing system," the Justice Department asked the court yesterday to review as soon as possible two federal drug cases that call into question sentencing guidelines. Justice Department lawyers asked the high court to hear the cases as early as September. The Supreme Court gave attorneys for the defendants in the two cases a week to file responses to the government's motions. Meanwhile, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco overturned the sentence of a Montana methamphetamine dealer, which had been enhanced by a federal trial judge.
NEWS
February 6, 2009
Police identify victims of fatal shootings Yesterday, police identified three men found fatally shot Wednesday in separate locations in the city and whose deaths appear to be unrelated. No arrests had been made. Shortly before 3 a.m., Eastern District police found Demetrius M. Saulsbury, 22, of the 3400 block of Elmley Ave., in the 1700 block of N. Washington St. in the Broadway East neighborhood suffering from a bullet wound to the head. He died a short time later at Johns Hopkins Hospital.
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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