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Panel to Discuss "The Supreme Court and the Sentencing Guidelines," Feb. 4


A panel discussion will consider "U.S. v. Booker: The Supreme Court and the Sentencing Guidelines" on Friday, February 4, 2005, at 2:30 p.m., in Room 127. The talk is free and open to the public.

Kate Stith, Lafayette S. Foster Professor of Law and co-author of Fear of Judging, which foreshadowed much of the current debate, will moderate the discussion. The panelists will include Michael Dreeben, deputy solicitor general of the United States with special responsibility for criminal matters; Nancy Gertner '71, a judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, who co-teaches the Sentencing course at YLS; David Fein, head of Wiggin and Dana's White-Collar Defense Practice Group and a former federal prosecutor for the Southern District of New York; and Daniel Freed, clinical professor emeritus of law at YLS and editor of the Federal Sentencing Reporter.

In recent years, one of the most important debates in American criminal law has concerned the federal judiciary's role under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines. The United States Supreme Court's recent decision in U.S. v. Booker has intensified this debate by declaring the guidelines unconstitutional as mandatory rules and henceforth merely advisory. The panel will address such questions as: What does Booker mean for the administration of federal criminal law? How should (and will) federal judges use their newfound sentencing discretion? How will Congress react to the Court's decision? And what does the Court's written opinion tell us about the cleavages within the Court itself?