Minutes from September 19, 1996

United States Sentencing Commission
Minutes of the September 19, 1996
Business Meeting

The meeting was called to order at 9:42 a.m. by Chairman Richard P. Conaboy in the Judicial Conference Center meeting rooms. The following commissioners and staff participated:

Richard P. Conaboy, Chairman
A. David Mazzone, Vice Chairman
Michael S. Gelacak, Vice Chairman
Wayne A. Budd, Commissioner
Julie E. Carnes, Commissioner
Deanell R. Tacha, Commissioner
Mary Frances Harkenrider, Ex Officio Commissioner
John Kramer, Interim Staff Director
Paul K. Martin, Deputy Staff Director
John R. Steer, General Counsel
Kevin Blackwell, Research Associate
Susan Katzenelson, Director, Office of Policy Analysis
Pamela Montgomery, Deputy General Counsel
Andy Purdy, Chief Deputy General Counsel
Judith Sheon, Principal Technical Advisor
Jonathan Wroblewski, Legislative Counsel
Vice Chairman Michael Goldsmith participated via telephone; Ex Officio
Commissioner Edward F. Reilly, Jr. was unable to attend.

Chairman Conaboy introduced Elizabeth Woodcock, the Commission's new Judicial Fellow. On behalf of the Commission, the Chairman recognized the long-term government service of soon-to- be Commission retirees. They are as follows: Brenda Allen, secretary to the chairman; Marcia Brown, secretary to the Office of Policy Analysis; and Linda Clemons, special assistant to the staff director. He also recognized the long term government service of recent retiree Mary G. Hogya, former director of administration, and her significant and important contributions to the agency.

Motion made by Commissioner Mazzone to adopt the minutes of the July 18, 1996, business meeting; seconded by Commissioner Carnes. Passed unanimously.

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to prepare the Just Punishment Research Project for release to the public, as well as a Commission summary of the study for the November meeting; seconded by Commissioner Mazzone. Passed unanimously.

Amendments:

Acceptance of Responsibility

Motion made By Commissioner Tacha to publish for comment in the Federal Register the proposed amendment to USSG §3E1.1 (Acceptance of Responsibility), with the deletion on page two, Application Note 2's phrase, "the court may consider" and on page three in the Background section the second set the bracketed language; seconded by Commissioner Mazzone. Passed unanimously. Commissioner Mazzone noted on the record that no interested party has indicated that changes are needed to §3E1.1.

Guideline Definitions

Part A: Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to publish for comment in the Federal Register proposed amendments #1, which corrects a technical error in §1B1.1(b) and #6, which defines the term "instant offense"; seconded by Commissioner Gelacak. Passed unanimously.

Commissioner Goldsmith requested a meeting with the General Counsel and others to discuss possible circuit conflicts that might have been resolved by publishing those amendments the Commission just chose not to publish.

Part B: Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to publish for comment in the Federal Register the proposed amendment to §1B1.10, relating to retroactivity; seconded by Commissioner Budd. Passed unanimously.

Mandatory Restitution

Motion made by Commissioner Goldsmith to publish for comment in the Federal Register proposed amendments that conform the provisions of §5E1.1 to the mandatory restitution provisions of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; seconded by Commissioner Tacha. Passed unanimously.

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to publish for comment in the Federal Register the proposed amendment that revises §§ 5B1.3, 5B1.4, and 5D1.3 to reflect required conditions of probation and supervised release that have been added by the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996 and other statutory provisions, as well as the issue for comment; seconded by Commissioner Carnes. Passed unanimously.

Special Assessments

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to publish for comment in the Federal Register the proposed amendment, option one, that implements section 210 of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; seconded by Commissioner Mazzone. Passed unanimously.

Miscellaneous Amendments

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to publish for comment in the Federal Register a three-part amendment relating to international counterfeiting and the issues for comment relating to sections 511 (pertains to biological weapons), 521 (pertains to chemical weapons), and 702 (pertains to killing outside the United States) of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996; seconded by Commissioner Goldsmith. Passed unanimously.

Retroactivity and Reconsideration (Proposed Rules of Practice and Procedure)

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to publish for comment in the Federal Register the proposed retroactivity language, with the deletion in proposed Rule 2.2 of the bracketed language, "or previously promulgated"; seconded by Commissioner Carnes. Passed unanimously.

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to publish for comment in the Federal Register the following language to be added in the appropriate place, "except as necessary to implement enacted legislation or to address other matters determined by the Commission to be urgent and compelling. The Commission shall after May 1, 1997, promulgate or amend guidelines not more frequently than biannually. This rule shall take effect with the amendment cycle beginning May 2, 1997. No amendment shall be issued in such cycle except as provided in this rule."; seconded by Commissioner Carnes. Passed unanimously, 6-0. Commissioner Goldsmith was necessarily absent for this and subsequent action.

Susan Katzenelson, updating the Commission on the ISS Coding Project, stated that it was a multi-unit working project. She stated that the coding of the five percent random sample of fiscal year 1995 drug cases was completed and should be in a useable form within the week. She briefed the Commission on related efforts concerning criminal history and acquitted conduct.

Kevin Blackwell, briefing the Commission on the Resentencing Project, stated that the group conducted a preliminary analysis comparing the federal sentencing guidelines with four state sentencing systems (Minnesota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Virginia). He outlined the parameters of the project and presented charts comparing the various systems.

Jonathan Wroblewski , briefing the Commission on recent legislative initiatives, mentioned bills relating to immigration, appropriations, telemarketing fraud, and methamphetamine. He recognized Mary Didier for her contributions in monitoring the legislation.

Pamela Montgomery, briefing the Commission on recent case law, discussed decisions relating to access to Commission internal working documents, amendment # 506 (relating to the appropriate statutory maximum for career offender purposes), statutory challenges to the Commission, and departures.

John Kramer, briefing the Commission on staff activities, stated that he was reviewing staff organization, the process for preparing Commission meeting materials, and other operational issues. He mentioned that the Commission committed funds to the Federal Judicial Center for construction of a teleconferencing facility and that Tim McGrath was in charge of the process of reviewing proposals relating to Commission's request for proposals in its Data Utilization Project.

Chairman Conaboy, on behalf of the Commission, recognized the contributions of Commissioners Carnes and Mazzone. He stated that Commissioner Carnes will be devoting more time to her family and district court workload and that he hoped to see Commissioner Mazzone reappointed to the Commission early next year. He invited everyone to attend a reception at 2:00 p.m. in honor of their service.

Chairman Conaboy adjourned the meeting at 11:50 a.m.


 

 

United States Sentencing Commission