Posts filtered by tags: Douglas A. Berman[x]


 

Notable research from Pennsylvania on positive pardon consequences

I just came across this interesting webpage at the site of the group Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity. The page highlights a pair of reports about the consequences of pardons in the state over a decade. Here is the summary from site: In April 2020, the Economy League issued a pathbreaking report, finding that pardons issued over a ten-year period (2008-2018) had contributed $16.5 million to Pennsylvania’s economy, and urged the Board of Pardons to increase the number of pardon applicants,...
Tags: Law, Pennsylvania, Josh Shapiro, Douglas A Berman, Philadelphia Lawyers for Social Equity, Economy League, PLSE, Ryan Allen Hancock, Tobey Oxholm Click


Big new NPR investigation showing pulmonary edema in executed inmates suggests a painful process

NPR has this interesting and extended new piece about the medical realities of modern executions under the headline "Gasping For Air: Autopsies Reveal Troubling Effects Of Lethal Injection."  The who piece should be reviewed in full for anyone who follows closely the debates over execution methods, and I am pleased to see that the piece discusses the ground-breaking litigation that has been pioneered by Allen Bohnert, a federal public defender who represents Ohio inmates with upcoming executions...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, United States, Ohio, Npr, Emory University Hospital, Edgar, Douglas A Berman, Allen Bohnert, Zivot, Zivot He, Georgia Arkansas Missouri Tennessee


"Wage Theft Criminalization"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new article authored by Benjamin Levin now available via SSRN.  Here is its abstract: Over the past decade, workers’ rights activists and legal scholars have embraced the language of “wage theft” in describing the abuses of the contemporary workplace.  The phrase invokes a certain moral clarity: theft is wrong.  The phrase is not merely a rhetorical flourish. Increasingly, it has a specific content for activists, politicians, advocates, and ac...
Tags: Law, United States, Douglas A Berman, Benjamin Levin


Spotlighting notable series of substantive reasonableness reversals by the Sixth Circuit

A helpful reader sent me this thoughtful review of some notable recent reasonableness rulings by the Sixth Circuit: The review of sentences for substantive reasonableness is often thought of as toothless, or as a “one-way ratchet” toward more severe sentences.  Of the countless appeals challenging sentences as overly harsh, only a couple of dozen have prevailed.  (Government appeals challenging sentences as too lenient seem to have found more success).  Appellate courts have been far more willin...
Tags: Sixth Circuit, Law, United States, Rand Paul, Warren, Lee, Brown, Douglas A Berman, Stranch, Perez Rodriguez, Eastern Districts of New York


"Due Process in a Fee-Driven State"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new article now available via SSRN authored by Penny White and Glenn Harlan Reynolds.  Here is its abstract: Inspired by the Justice Department's report on criminal law enforcement and the use of courts as a revenue-generation machine in Ferguson, Missouri, we address the widespread problem of policing for profit in light of two classic Supreme Court cases on due process, and two very recent Court of Appeals cases that focus specifically on th...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Ferguson Missouri, Justice Department, Court of Appeals, Douglas A Berman, SSRN, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, Penny White


Noting encouraging new federal compassionate release realities

I am pleased to see this CBS News new article headlined "Compassionate release, once seldom used, offers some federal inmates hope."  Here are excerpts: [C]ompassionate release [was] a once seldom used remedy that allows inmates to receive a reduction in their sentence. The process, which is only used in extraordinary circumstances, has seen an uptick during the coronavirus pandemic.... Petitions for compassionate release were rarely approved prior to the passing of the First Step Act in Decemb...
Tags: Law, Cbs News, Johnson, Justice Department, Trump, Michael Cohen, Barr, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, U S Sentencing Commission, Kevin Ring, Paul Manafort, Coleman Federal Correctional Complex, William Barr, Sumterville Florida, Saferia Johnson


In (sentencing) memoriam: noting a few major sentencing majority opinions by Justice Ginsburg

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was nominated to be a Justice when I was still in law school, so it has been a very long time since I have thought about a Supreme Court without her voice and views being integral to the Court's work.  And, as I noted in this post last night, she was literally the critical swing vote in US v. Booker to give us the advisory guideline system that has defined the federal sentencing for over fifteen years. Though Justice Ginsburg did not write an opinion in Booker, she wr...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, California, Oregon, Court, US, Indiana, United States, Arizona, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Booker, Ginsburg, Cunningham, Kimbrough, Douglas A Berman, Timbs


Saddened by the passing of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who gave us advisory federal sentencing guidelines

I was sad to see this news this evening: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a diminutive yet towering women’s rights champion who became the court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington.  She was 87.  Ginsburg died of complications from metastatic pancreatic cancer, the court said.... Chief Justice John Roberts mourned Ginsburg’s passing.  “Our Nation has lost a jurist of historic stature. We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague.  Today we mourn, ...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Washington, US, Bill Clinton, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Booker, John Roberts, Roberts, Ginsburg, Douglas A Berman, Virginia Military Institute


"In the Shadows: A Review of the Research on Plea Bargaining"

The title of this post is the title of from the Vera Institute of Justice.  Here is part of the report's introduction: In whatever form it takes, plea bargaining remains a low-visibility, off-the-record, and informal process that usually occurs in conference rooms and courtroom hallways — or through private telephone calls or e-mails — far away from the prying eyes and ears of open court.  Bargains are usually struck with no witnesses present and made without investigation, testimony, imparti...
Tags: Law, Douglas A Berman, Vera Institute of Justice Here, Vera Institute of Justice Vera


"Public opinion and the politics of collateral consequence policies"

The title of this post is the title of this notable new article authored by Travis Johnston and Kevin Wozniak recently published in Punishment & Society.  Here is its abstract: We analyze data from a national sample of the U.S. population to assess public support for policies that deny former offenders’ access to job training programs, food stamps, and public housing. We find that Americans generally oppose benefit restrictions, though support for these policies is higher among Republicans and ...
Tags: Law, Douglas A Berman, Travis Johnston, Kevin Wozniak


At re-re-re-sentencing, Amy Locane gets eight years in New Jersey state prison for drunk driving vehicular manslaughter

Because it is such an interesting case (and perhaps because I watched Melrose Place way back when), I have blogged repeatedly about the sentencings saga of Amy Locane after her conviction in a tragic and deadly drunk driving case.  Today, Locane was sentenced for the fourth time in this matter, and this Fox News piece provides the details: Amy Locane has been resentenced to eight years in state prison for a fatal 2010 drunk driving crash that occurred in New Jersey. The former “Melrose Place” a...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Fox, New Jersey, Princeton, Somerville, Montgomery Township, State Superior Court, Douglas A Berman, Amy Locane, Fred Seeman, Locane, Seeman, Borkowski, Helene Seeman, James Wronko


Finding a silver lining in new report on Prez Trump's disappointing nominees to US Sentencing Commission

The Marshall Project has this new mostly depressing article about the troubling slate of US Sentencing Commission nominees announced by Prez Trump last month (basics here).  Even the headline of the piece, "Before Election, Trump Tries To Stack Prison-Sentencing Agency With Right Wing Allies," is telling and depressing since the US Sentencing Commission should be a whole lot more than a "Prison-Sentencing Agency" even though this is a disconcertingly fitting descriptor.  In any event, ever eager...
Tags: Utah, Florida, Law, Kentucky, Senate, Virginia, US, Reagan, Pennsylvania, Gop, Iowa, Chuck Grassley, Mitch McConnell, Graham, Beltway, Mike Lee


BOP reported federal prison population ticks up for first time in COVID era

Regular readers know that I have been closely watching COVID-era changes in the federal prison population because of dramatic declines in the federal Bureau of Prisons' weekly updated "Total Federal Inmates" numbers.  At the start if the COVID era, the reported federal prison population was around 175,000.  But, as I highlighted in a series of prior posts, according to BOP's reporting, most weeks through much of the spring the federal prison population shrunk around or over 1,000 persons per wee...
Tags: Law, USSC, Douglas A Berman, US Sentencing Commission


Can a modest federal bail reform bill with bipartisan sponsorship become law in these crazy times?

I do not blog much about bail reforms issues, though these topics were quite "hot" even before the pandemic and these issues seem even more pressing now.  And given notable research documenting a link between federal pretrial release and sentencing outcomes, I am particular interested in the new bill filed earlier this month as discussed in this press release: U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL), Mike Lee (R-UT), and Chris Coons (D-DE), members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today introduced t...
Tags: Law, Senate Judiciary Committee, Chris Coons, Douglas A Berman, Due Process Institute, Dick Durbin D IL Mike Lee


"Toward Shared Safety: The First-Ever National Survey of America’s Safety Gaps"

The title of this post is the title of from the Alliance for Safety and Justice.  Here is how the report's Executive Summary gets started: Toward Shared Safety: The First-Ever National Survey of America’s Safety Gaps is a first-of-its-kind national study of Americans’ unmet safety needs and public safety policy preferences.  In a moment of unprecedented change — and growing consensus on the need for new approaches to public safety — this report aims to fill critical gaps in information, to hel...
Tags: Law, America, Douglas A Berman, Alliance for Safety and Justice Here