January 13, 2005

News Release

U.S. Sentencing Commission
One Columbus Circle NE
Washington, DC 20002-8002

For Immediate Release
January 13, 2005

Contact: Michael Courlander
Public Affairs Officer
(202) 502-4597

U.S. SENTENCING COMMISSION CHAIR COMMENTS ON HIGH COURT RULING

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 13, 2005) — In response to yesterday’s 5-4 decision by the Supreme Court about the federal sentencing guidelines in United States v. Booker, U.S. Sentencing Commission Chair Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa issued the following statement:

"The United States Sentencing Commission is in the process of thoroughly reviewing the Booker/Fanfan decision released by the United States Supreme Court. Prior to the decision, we held hearings to allow judges, prosecutors, the defense bar, victims rights groups, and academics to testify before the Commission on the issues raised by Blakely and the federal sentencing cases pending before the Court at the time. Now that a decision has been issued, the Commission will work with Congress, members of the federal judiciary’s Committee on Criminal Law, the Department of Justice, the defense bar, members of the criminal justice community, and other interested individuals to ensure that we have a fair and just sentencing system within the bounds of our Constitution. The U.S. Sentencing Commission is in a unique position to continue to assist all three branches of government during this period of transition. As the opinion in Booker/Fanfan states, the Commission ‘remains in place’ and will continue to fulfill its statutorily mandated functions such as collecting sentencing data from all federal district courts, amending the guidelines where appropriate, and conducting sentencing-related research."