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Sentencing Guidelines

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.
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NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | November 28, 2011
Dwuan Dent and Antwan Askia were on opposite sides of an East Baltimore drug turf war in the 1990s that killed at least four people, according to federal prosecutors who charged Dent with murder and conspiracy and Askia with various drug counts. Both were convicted only of drug distribution charges, but because of tough-on-crime guidelines that imposed greater penalties for crack than powder cocaine, Dent was sentenced to more than 17 years in prison and Askia to 20. Now Dent and Askia are among scores of prisoners across the country who are being released early — the beneficiaries of efforts to change those sentencing guidelines that critics say disproportionately affected low-income people and minorities who faced longer prison terms for crack-cocaine charges.
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.
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 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 | 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 Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun | July 28, 2011
A 21-year-old Pasadena man pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Thursday for shoving a stranger who couldn't swim into the Inner Harbor in 2008 — an act previously characterized by one Baltimore judge as complete stupidity. Wayne Black, who was 18 when he pushed 22-year-old Ankush Gupta into the water and ran, will be sentenced to four years in prison at his sentencing, scheduled for Aug. 30, per an agreement cut with Baltimore Circuit Judge M. Brooke Murdock. His mother dabbed tears from her eyes as the deal was done, while Gupta's friends and family sat stone-faced on the other side of the courtroom.
TOPIC
By Michael Hill and Michael Hill,SUN STAFF | January 11, 2004
The problem was this. In one federal courtroom, a judge handed out a sentence of 10 years. In another, someone charged with the same crime got a two-year sentence. "The feeling was judges simply had too much discretion," says Erik Luna, an associate professor at the University of Utah College of Law. "You had `Hang 'em High Harry' and "Set 'em Loose Bruce.'" The solution, crafted in the 1980s by a coalition of senators that stretched across a broad spectrum from Strom Thurmond to Edward M. Kennedy, was a set of regulations designed to ensure that the punishment fits the crime.
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