Posts filtered by tags: Prez Biden[x]


 

Notably advocacy for Prez Biden to use his clemency power to ensure those released into home confinement need not return to prison

Alice Marie Johnson and Ja’Ron Smith have this notable new USA Today opinion piece headlined "COVID-19 concerns sent thousands of inmates home. Give clemency to those who deserve it." The subtitle of the piece captures its themes: "Nearly 5,000 inmates may be sent back to prison. After rebuilding their lives, and being contributing members of society, how is being returned justice?". Here are excerpts (links from original): This spring, as more Americans are able to get vaccinated, there’s hope...
Tags: Usa, Law, America, Joe Biden, Biden, Usa Today, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, Federal Bureau of Prisons, Bureau of Prisons, OLC, Douglas A Berman, Alice Marie Johnson, Ja'Ron Smith, Prez Biden


"Marijuana legalization and expungement in early 2021"

The title of this post is the title of this great new report authored by David Schlussel that was assisted in various ways by folks at Collateral Consequences Resource Center and Drug Enforcement and Policy Center (DEPC) at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.  Here is the abstract to the report: Early 2021 was an unprecedented period for policymaking at the intersection of marijuana legalization and criminal record reform. Between February and April, four states enacted legislation...
Tags: Law, Virginia, Illinois, Ccrc, Douglas A Berman, PBS News Hour, David Schlussel, Prez Biden, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law Here, New Jersey New Mexico New York


Might Prez Biden use his clemency power relatively soon?

The question in the title of this post is promoted by this notable new Hill article headlined "Biden set to flex clemency powers."  The headline is a bit more encouraging than the full article for those eager to see some action on this front, and here are some of the details: White House officials are signaling that President Biden is prepared to flex his clemency powers as officials wade through a large backlog of requests behind the scenes, according to advocates with whom the White House has...
Tags: Law, Congress, White House, Aclu, Susan Rice, New Orleans, Biden, Voice, Justice Department, American Civil Liberties Union, Hill, Hoskins, Dana Remus, Jen Psaki, Douglas A Berman, Cedric Richmond


Interesting and critical accounting of Biden Administration's criminal justice work over first 100 days

This new lengthy Law360 piece, headlined "Biden Falls Short On Criminal Justice Reform In First 100 Days," provides a fittingly critical review of the Biden Administration's criminal justice work over its first 100 days in office.  I recommend the piece in full, and here are some highlights (along with an interesting graphic): President Joe Biden made a slew of campaign promises on the criminal justice reform front that he has made little progress on in his first 100 days in office, disappointi...
Tags: Law, Congress, White House, America, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Biden, Donald Trump, Trump, Rahman, Jacobs, U S Department of Health and Human Services, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Vera Institute of Justice, Jen Psaki, Psaki


Assessments and concerns regarding Biden Administration's early criminal justice efforts

This past week brought the end of the first 100 days of Joe Biden's presidency along with a big speech from Prez Biden to Congress.  In this prior post, I lamented a bit that the big speech did not devote much attention to criminal justice reform issues.  And here is a round-up of some recent articles and commentary reviewing the work of the first 100 days and urging the Biden team to lean into criminal justice issues more: From Christina Carrega at CNN, "Biden vowed to end the death penalty. Ac...
Tags: Usa, Law, Congress, Joe Biden, Cnn, Department Of Justice, Biden, Usa Today, Shaun King, Marc Levin, Douglas A Berman, Christina Carrega, Erica Zunkel, Billy Binion, Khalil Cumberbatch, Prez Biden


Prez Biden gets timely reminder that criminal justice reform presents unique bipartisan opportunity

I complained in this post that Prez Biden did not have all that much to say about criminal justice issues in his lengthy speech to Congress this week. But I now see from a number of news reports that criminal justice reform got some brief, but especially notable, bipartisan attention after the speech.  This Washington Post piece, headlined "GOP lawmaker who voted to overturn Biden’s election win wants to help him on criminal justice reform," provides these details: Moments after President Biden...
Tags: Texas, Law, Congress, White House, China, America, Joe Biden, Gop, House, Houston, Biden, The Washington Post, Trump, Texas Tribune, Texas Monthly, Gribble


Not even much lip service about sentencing reform in Prez Biden's first address to Congress

Prez Joe Biden gave a very lengthy speech this evening (full text here), but it only included a precious few sentences about criminal justice reform.  Here are these sentences: We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America. Now is our opportunity to make real progress. Most men and women in uniform wear their badge and serve their communities honorably.  I know them.  I know they want to help meet this moment as well. My fellow Americans, we have to come together.  To rebu...
Tags: Law, Congress, White House, House, Npr, Johnson, Biden, Doj, Justice Department, Criminal Justice Reform, Carrie Johnson, Douglas A Berman, Kevin Ring, Kara Gotsch, Biden White House, George Floyd


Any interesting new insights about the interesting new folks tapped by Prez Biden for DEA and AAG positions at the Department of Justice?

As detailed in this press release, Prez Biden yesterday announced "His Intent to Nominate 11 Key Administration Leaders on National Security and Law Enforcement."  Two of the nominees could prove be particularly impactful in sentencing and other federal criminal justice reform arenas:  Anne Milgram, Nominee for Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration, Department of Justice Anne Milgram has had a distinguished career as a state, local, and federal prosecutor.  As New Jersey’s Attorney G...
Tags: Law, Washington Post, US, United States, New Jersey, New Orleans, DEA, Louisiana, Department Of Justice, Biden, Justice Department, New Jersey State Police, Milgram, Morgan Lewis Bockius LLP, Douglas A Berman, AAG


North Carolina Gov creates "Juvenile Sentence Review Board" to make clemency recommendations

This local story out of North Carolina reports on the creation of an interesting new sentencing review structure created by the state's chief executive.  The full headline of the piece provides the essentials: "Gov. Cooper announces formation of North Carolina juvenile sentence review board: The Review Board will make recommendations to the Governor concerning clemency and commutation of such sentences when appropriate."  Here are more details from the article: Governor Roy Cooper announced Thu...
Tags: Law, Obama, Senate, White House, America, Aclu, Biden, North Carolina, Durham, Task Force, Raleigh, Cooper, Fourth Circuit, Morey, United States Court of Appeals, Eastern District of North Carolina


How about some clemency grants from Prez Biden to go with Second Chance Month, 2021 proclamation?

Last week, the White House released "A Proclamation on Second Chance Month, 2021."  Here is the full substantive text:      America’s criminal justice system must offer meaningful opportunities for redemption and rehabilitation.  After incarcerated individuals serve their time, they should have the opportunity to fully reintegrate into society.  It benefits not just those individuals but all of society, and it is the best strategy to reduce recidivism.  During Second Chance Month, we lift up al...
Tags: Law, White House, America, United States, Aclu, Biden, United States of America, Joseph R Biden, Douglas A Berman, My Administration, State and Federal, Prez Biden


Might we be getting closer to (needed) new nominees for the "frozen" US Sentencing Commission?

I was so excited to see Prez Biden announce his first slate of judicial nominations in part because I have been presuming that we would not get needed nomination to the US Sentencing Commission until at least some judge nominees were first put forward.  (Ever the fan of semantic technicalities, I think we should also call any nomination to the USSC to be "judicial nominees" given that the USSC is the only agency located in the judicial branch.)  Adding to my excitement is this recent Roll Call a...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Congress, Senate, White House, US, Joe Biden, Iowa, Biden, Illinois, Donald Trump, Trump, Lee, Grassley, Breyer, Stephen G Breyer


Prez Biden announces his first group of judicial nominees reflecting diverse backgrounds

As partially detailed in this CBS News piece, headlined "Biden announces first slate of judicial nominees with picks that would make history," Prez Joe Biden has formally announced a first set of planned nominations for judicial openings. Here are basics:  President Biden on Tuesday rolled out his first slate of judicial nominees, announcing candidates with diverse backgrounds and professional qualifications as he begins to make his own stamp on the nation's district and circuit courts. Of the ...
Tags: Maryland, Law, Cbs News, Senate, White House, New Jersey, New Mexico, Biden, Donald Trump, Senate Judiciary Committee, U S Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 7th U S Circuit Court of Appeals, Douglas A Berman, US Sentencing Commission, Ketanji Brown Jackson


Senators Durbin and Lee re-introduce "Smarter Sentencing Act" to reduce federal drug mandatory minimums

As detailed in this new press release, it looks like some notable US Senators are trying yet again to reform federal mandatory minimums.  Here are the basics from the release: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) cosponsored the “Smarter Sentencing Act,” bipartisan legislation designed to bring judicial discretion and flexibility to non-violent drug charge sentencing. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) and cosponsored by 11 of their colleagues. Since 1980, the number of inmates in federal pr...
Tags: Utah, Law, Congress, Senate, US, Maine, Ted Cruz, Tim Kaine, Richard Blumenthal, Lee, Senate Judiciary Committee, SSA, Roger Wicker, Congressional Budget Office, Durbin, Sen Mike Lee


Senators Durbin and Grassley re-introduce "Smarter Sentencing Act" to reduce federal drug mandatory minimums

As detailed in this new press release, it looks like some notable US Senators are trying yet again to reform federal mandatory minimums.  Here are the basics from the release: Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) cosponsored the “Smarter Sentencing Act,” bipartisan legislation designed to bring judicial discretion and flexibility to non-violent drug charge sentencing. The bill is sponsored by Sen. Dick Durbin (D- Ill.) and cosponsored by 11 of their colleagues. Since 1980, the number of inmates in federal pr...
Tags: Utah, Law, Congress, Senate, US, Maine, Ted Cruz, Tim Kaine, Richard Blumenthal, Senate Judiciary Committee, SSA, Grassley, Roger Wicker, Congressional Budget Office, Durbin, Sen Mike Lee


A request for lawprof input and other posts of note from Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform

I have not done a round-up of posts from my blogging over at Marijuana Law, Policy & Reform since mid January, and I am especially eager to flag this new post requesting information from folks teaching (or interested in teaching) a law course touching on drugs or the legal structures around cannabis (sought via a short survey at go.osu.edu/teaching-drugs-survey).  The first link below provides more context for this request, and thereafter you will find links to other recent posts at the intersec...
Tags: Law, Mexico, White House, New Jersey, US Senate, Douglas A Berman, Merrick Garland, Prez Biden, New York Marijuana, Interstate Commerce in Cannabis AG


SCOTUS grants cert to review First Circuit's reversal of death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev

As noted in this post, the First CIrcuit last summer overturned the death sentence of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, and the Trump administration sought review in October on these two questions in the government's cert petition: Whether the court of appeals erred in concluding that respondent’s capital sentences must be vacated on the ground that the district court, during its 21-day voir dire, did not ask each prospective juror for a specific accounting of the pretrial media covera...
Tags: Law, US, Joe Biden, Boston Marathon, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, US supreme court, Trump, First Circuit, Tsarnaev, AG Barr, Douglas A Berman, Biden Administration, Prez Biden


With a new Attorney General now in place, should we expect to see any changes in the federal prison population?

Regular readers know that I have been following federal prison population data quite closely during the COVID era, giving particular attention to the numbers that the federal Bureau of Prisons updates weekly at this webpage.  But I have not blogged on this topic in nearly two months because, after a tumultuous 2020, there has been a notable stability in BOP reports of "Total Federal Inmates" during the Biden era.  As noted here, the day after Prez Biden's inauguration, BOP reported a total popul...
Tags: Law, Biden, Doj, Justice Department, Trump, Prez Obama, Jeff Sessions, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, Merrick Garland, Prez Trump, Prez Biden


Are we soon going to start seeing notable judicial nominees from Prez Biden?

This past week was full of big accomplishements for the Biden Administration with the confirmation of Attorney General Merrick Garland and the passage of the big COVID relief bill.  And now, as we approach nearly two months into the new Administration, there is reason to expect we will start seeing Prez Biden announce some judicial nominations.  These recent press articles certainly are raising expections that nomination will be coming soon: From Axios, "White House primes 'pipeline' of federal ...
Tags: Law, Cnn, Jackson, Biden, Josh Blackman, Prez Obama, DC Circuit, Douglas A Berman, US Sentencing Commission, Merrick Garland, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Axios White House, Biden Administration, Prez Biden


With Merrick Garland now finally confirmed as the next US Attorney General, might another DOJ charging and sentencing memo be soon forthcoming?

As reported in this CNBC piece, the US Senate "on Wednesday voted to confirm Merrick Garland as attorney general, placing the longtime federal appeals court judge and one-time Supreme Court pick at the helm of an agency central to President Joe Biden’s domestic policy agenda. The vote was 70-30." Here is more: Garland takes over as the head of the Department of Justices as the sprawling agency continues to investigate the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, one of the largest probes in its history...
Tags: Supreme Court, Law, Obama, Senate, White House, US, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Clarke, US Senate, Monaco, Biden, Doj, Justice Department, Cnbc, Antonin Scalia


What kind of "behind the scenes" clemency moves might Prez Biden's staff be working on?

The question in the title of this post is prompted by a sentence in this Vox piece by German Lopez (strangely) headlined "Biden’s secret weapon for criminal justice reform."  The article is about the power of the President to grant clemency, and I think it a bit strange to call that power a "secret weapon" given all the attention that clemency has received in recent years and given that there has already been a number of prominent calls for Prez Biden to use this power in prominent ways (example...
Tags: Law, Senate, White House, America, Aclu, Biden, Lopez, Douglas A Berman, Biden Administration, Prez Biden


New coalition letter urges Prez Biden "to aggressively reduce jail and prison populations" in first 100 day

Via email this afternoon, I learned of this new extended letter addressed to Prez Biden on behalf of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and organizations urging various criminal justice with particular focus on "the health and safety of incarcerated individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic." The full letter covers lots of ground, and here is its first substative paragraph: While the pandemic jeopardizes everyone’s safety, incarcerated individuals are much more likely to be peop...
Tags: Law, Douglas A Berman, Bureau of Prisons BOP, Prez Biden


Federal prosecutors still pursuing capital charges over a month into Biden Administration

There has been considerable advocacy from progressives urging Prez Biden to commute federal death row and to halt all capital prosecutions (examples here and here).  Against that backdrop, I thought this new Justice Department press release was notable under this full headline: "Death Penalty Sought For Murder Of Fort Campbell Soldier; Victim's murder occurred on the Fort Campbell, Kentucky military installation."   Interestingly, the start of the release specifies that former Prez Trump's last ...
Tags: Law, United States, Justice Department, Fort Campbell Soldier, Fort Campbell Kentucky, Douglas A Berman, Prez Trump, Western District of Kentucky, Acting United States, Jeffrey A Rosen, Biden Administration, Prez Biden, Victor Everette Silvers, Brittney Niecol Silvers, Michael A Bennett, Everette Silvers


New commentary calling for Prez Biden to revive the US Sentencing Commission

In this post earlier this month, I wondered aloud about when we might reasonably expect Prez Biden to make needed appointments to the US Sentencing Commission.  This issue remained on my mind when I was recently asked to write a commentary for ASU's new Crime and Justice News site.   Specifically, I decided to write on "Reviving the U.S. Sentencing Commission," and here is an excerpt from this commentary (links from original): [F]ederal sentencing politics and policy development have transforme...
Tags: Law, Obama, Congress, Obama Administration, Senate, US, Commission, Biden, Frankel, Asu, Trump, Douglas A Berman, U S Sentencing Commission, US Sentencing Commission, Trump Administration, Pennsylvania Board of Pardons


Any guesses for when we might again have a fully functioning US Sentencing Commission?

It has been far too long since the US Sentencing Commission has been fully functional, and this post is my indirect way of saying that I hope getting the USSC back in action with a full slate of Commissioners is a top priority for the Biden Administration.  But, given that we still do not yet have a new confirmed Attorney General nearly a month into the new administration, and especially with other business (and other judicial openings) sure to be a higher priority, I am wondering if it may stil...
Tags: Law, Senate, Commission, Biden, USSC, Douglas A Berman, U S Sentencing Commission, US Sentencing Commission, Prez Trump, Prez Donald Trump, Biden Sanders Unity Task Force, Prez Biden, Senate Long


How about some clemency grants from Prez Biden while his team works on grander clemency plans?

I am very pleased to see this lengthy new Politico piece shining a light on federal clemency under this full headline: "Trump left behind a clemency mess.  The clock’s ticking for Biden to solve it. Lawyers and criminal justice advocates are pushing Biden to act swiftly.  But Covid and the economy are pushing action back."  I recommend the whole piece, and here are excerpts: Biden’s White House counsel’s office has started to reach out to attorneys and advocates for suggestions on reforms, what...
Tags: Law, Minneapolis, Obama, Congress, White House, Russia, Barack Obama, Aclu, Biden, Justice Department, Trump, Bush, Democratic Party, Cohen, NACDL, Sen Bernie Sanders


Coalition of civil rights groups calls on Prez Biden to commute all federal death sentences and halt capital activity

As reported in this AP piece, "civil rights and advocacy organizations are calling on the Biden administration to immediately halt federal executions after an unprecedented run of capital punishment under President Donald Trump and to commute the sentences of inmates on federal death row."  Here is more (with links from the original): The organizations, including the American Civil Liberties Union, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and 80 others, sent a letter to President Joe...
Tags: Law, Congress, Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Aclu, Biden, Donald Trump, Justice Department, Trump, American Civil Liberties Union, Roseberry, Terre Haute Indiana, Federal Correctional Complex, Bureau of Prisons, Douglas A Berman, LWOP


Another round of coverage of Prez Trump's clemency grants (and some folks left behind)

It is now nearly two full week since former Prez Trump issued his large batch of clemencies in his final hours in office.  As I mentioned in this post last week, Trump's entire clemency record is full of fascinating and frustrating stories with respect to individual cases and the body of clemency work.  I did a round-up of recent pieces assessing Trump's clemency activities law week, but another week of press coverage reveals another set of interesting stories about both clemencies granted and ...
Tags: Law, Cbs News, Trump, Sheldon Silver, Douglas A Berman, Prez Trump, Rufus Rochell, Prez Biden


So what's a reasonable expectation for how many of Prez Biden's judicial nominees will be criminal defense or civil rights lawyers?

There is a long-standing concern, especially among criminal justice reform advocates and civil rights groups, that the federal judiciary is badly skewed because of the disproportionate number of judges who are former prosecutors or former government lawyers or have only private practice experience.  As noted in this post, Clark Neily at Cato has done great work on this front with this report from late 2019 with these core findings: [I]t is generally perceived that a disproportionate number ...
Tags: Law, Obama, Senate, Biden, Criminal Justice, Cato, Center for American Progress, DC Circuit, Douglas A Berman, Merrick Garland, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Clark Neily, Hill Biden, Prez Biden, Prez Barack Obama, NBC News After Trump Democrats


Lots of commentary and advice for Prez Biden's criminal justice reforms task one week in

Prez Biden has been on the job for only a little more than a week, but lots of folks already have lots of thoughts and advice for what he (and his party) should be doing in the criminal justice reform arena.  Here is a round up of just some of the discussions I have seen in recent days: From Al Jazeera, "Biden and prison reforms – a soft target?" From The American Prospect, "How Biden Should Prosecute Corporate Crime: In top-to-bottom criminal justice reform, let’s not forget the top." From The ...
Tags: Usa, Law, Biden, Douglas A Berman, Biden Administration, Prez Biden, Al Jazeera Biden, HuffPost After Trump


ACLU urging Prez Biden to "use his clemency powers to bring home 25,000 people" from federal prisons

In this post yesterday reviewing commentary on former Prez Trump's use of the clemency power, I mentioned that on this front I am always more eager to look forward than look back.  Consequently, I am pleased to see that via this press release that the ACLU is looking forward and pressing the new President to use his clemency powers boldly.  Here are excerpts: On Tuesday, the Biden administration announced a slate of executive orders on racial justice. Notably missing was any executive action to...
Tags: Law, Obama, Aclu, Biden, American Civil Liberties Union, Bop, Douglas A Berman, Prez Trump, Cynthia Roseberry, Justice Division, Biden Administration, Prez Biden, Prez Bden