Wednesday, April 18, 2007

USSG 1B1.13 ,Posted by Robert Paisola

From BOPWatcher Margy Love:
I am delighted to report that this afternoon the Sentencing Commission announced a proposed amendment to its guideline on sentence reduction for extraordinary and compelling reasons, USSG 1B1.13, which substantially expands the grounds for reduction of sentence under 18 USC § 3582(c)(1)(A)(i). In announcing the proposed amendment, the Commission credited the ABA for its longtime advocacy for a broad interpretation of the courts' authority under this statute.

The proposed new policy states in pertinent part that:

(A) Extraordinary and Compelling Reasons: Provided that the defendant meets the requirements of subdivision (2) [the defendant is not a danger to the safety of any person or to the community]
such reasons "exist under any of the following circumstances:

(i) the defendant is suffering from a terminal illness;

(ii) the defendant is suffering from a permanent physical or medical condition, or is experiencing deteriorating physical or mental health because of the aging process, that substantially diminishes the ability of the defendant to provide self-care within the environment of a correctional faciity for which conventional treatment promises no substantial improvement;

(iii) the death or incapacitation of the defendant's only family member capable of caring for the defendant's minor child or minor children; or

(iv) as determined by the Director of the Bureau of Prisons, there exists in the defendant's case an extraordinary and compelling reason other than, or in combination with, the reasons described in subdivisions (i), (ii) and (iii).

(B) Rehabilitation of the Defendant - Pursuant to 28 USC § 994(t), rehabilitation of the defendant is not, by itself, an extraordinary and compelling reasons for purposes of subdivision (1)(A).

This major expansion of the existing guideline policy goes a long way toward the position advocated by the ABA, most recently in testimony by Steve Saltzburg on March 20, 2007. The ABA position was endorsed by the Practitioners Advisory Group, the Federal Defenders, NACDL, and FAMM. As soon as we have the transcript of the Commission's meeting, we will send it around.

Law Office of Margaret Love
15 Seventh Street, N.E.
Washington, D.C. 20002
202-236-0484 (cell)

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