Minutes from March 15, 2006

Minutes of the March 15, 2006
United States Sentencing Commission
Public Meeting Minutes

Chair Hinojosa called the meeting to order at 4:05 PM in the Federal Judicial Center.

The following Commissioners were present:

· Judge Ricardo Hinojosa, Chair
· Judge Ruben Castillo, Vice Chair
· Judge William K. Sessions, III, Vice Chair
· John R. Steer, Vice Chair
· Michael E. Horowitz, Commissioner
· Beryl Howell, Commissioner
· Michael Elston, Commissioner Ex Officio
· Edward F. Reilly, Jr., Commissioner Ex Officio

The following staff participated in the meeting:

· Judith Sheon, Staff Director

The Chair asked for changes in the January 11, 2006, public meeting minutes to make certain sections more consistent with others and Vice Chair Steer noted some grammatical and punctuation errors. The Chair asked if there was a motion to adopt the minutes with the proposed changes. Commissioner Horowitz made a motion to adopt the minutes, with Commissioner Howell seconding the motion. Hearing no further discussion, the Chair called for a vote. The motion was adopted by a unanimous vote.

The Chair reported that the Commission’s Booker report has been released and is on the Commission’s website. He recognized the leadership of Ms. Sheon and the efforts by the staff to publish the report. The Chair noted that the Commission gave a report to the Judicial Conference regarding the Commission’s recent work. He also stated that the Commission’s training program is proceeding on schedule, and also that the 15th Annual National Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines will take place in Miami Beach, Florida, on May 31-June 2, 2006. The Chair called on Ms. Sheon for the Staff Director’s report.

Ms. Sheon reported that the Commission has received 98.4% of the sentencing documents from the courts for the 2004 fiscal year. She added that the Commission’s electronic document submission program and the efforts of the Office of Monitoring contributed greatly to the success of the Commission’s document collection process. Ms. Sheon thanked the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents and the court staffs in the Southern District of California and the Western District of Texas for their help with the Commission’s recent southwest border hearings held in San Diego, CA, and San Antonio, TX. Finally, Ms. Sheon thanked the Commission staff for their exceptional efforts in the past year and noted the efforts of Ms. Kathleen Grilli and Ms. Courtney Semisch for their work on the Commission’s Booker report.

The Chair asked if there was a motion regarding the vote to promulgate an emergency amendment on steroids. Commissioner Horowitz moved to table the vote until another meeting to be scheduled before the March 27, 2006, promulgation deadline, with Vice Chair Castillo seconding the motion. Hearing no further discussion, the Chair called for a vote. The motion to table the vote was adopted by a unanimous vote.

The Chair asked if there was any further business before the Commission. Vice Chair Sessions expressed his appreciation for the leadership of Ms. Sheon and the work of the staff on the Booker report, especially noting the hard work and honesty that went into producing the report. He also cautioned readers to view the report as a whole and not to focus exclusively on isolated sections. Hearing no further discussion, the Chair called for a motion to adjourn the meeting. Vice Chair Steer made a motion to adjourn, with Vice Chair Castillo seconding the motion. The Chair submitted the motion to voice vote. The motion was adopted unanimously, and the meeting was adjourned at 4:20 PM.