Saturday, June 7, 2008

Sam Kamin Finds Teaching Sentencing Guidelines Distasteful

His profile.

In the 1970's and 1980's, the public got outraged about the soaring crime rate. It stemmed from the crippling of the criminal law by a relentless series of attacks by the Supreme court on the prosecution. None had the slightest justification in the Constitution. All increased lawyer employment. The criminal is a valuable commodity to the lawyer. Any remedy that scares or deters the criminal decreases lawyer employment.

The Executive branch named a group of judges to write Sentencing Guidelines. Congress enacted them. The criminal lover judges lost their discretion in sentencing and could coddle criminals less. As a result, the most reliable measure of crime burden, the DOJ Crime Victimization Survey showed a significant drop in crop in the 1990's. Violent crime decreased by a half.

This large drop could not be tolerated by the lawyers on the Supreme Court, as a threat to lawyer employment. The political affiliation of the Justices made no difference. Scalia voted for or wrote a series of decisions that gutted these guidelines pretextually. These decisions were Apprendi, Blakely (written by Scalia), Booker, and Cunningham.

Since this series of pro-criminal decisions, 1) sentences have decreased; 2) prosecutors have made lower offers in plea bargains; 3) the cost of trials has likely increased; 4) multitudes of vicious predators have been released; 5) the murder and other crime rates have increased.

Why would conservatives want to release so many vicious predators, and hobble prosecutors? 1) To generate lawyer jobs; 2) to effectively immunize the lawyer client, the criminal; 3) the crime victim generates no lawyer fee, and is invisible to the lawyer rent seeking Justices.

It takes about 10 years to fully experience the impact of a law. By 2010, the crime rate may return to that of the ultra-violent 1980's, when the liberal lawmaking of the 1960's and the 1970's bore its ripe fruit.

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