August 5, 2022
Acting Chair Judge Charles Breyer, Incoming Chair Judge Carlton W. Reeves
Applaud Senate Confirmation of New Commissioners
Commission Regains a Quorum for the First Time in Three Years,
Enabling it to Amend Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Issue Sentencing Policy
WASHINGTON, D.C.―The US Senate has confirmed a group of seven bipartisan members to serve on the US Sentencing Commission, providing the independent judicial branch agency with a voting quorum for the first time in more than three years. The Commission is charged with promoting transparency and proportionality in federal sentencing and reducing sentencing disparities.
The newly confirmed members of the Commission are District Judge Carlton W. Reeves, who will serve as Chair of the Commission; Circuit Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo, Laura Mate and Claire McCusker Murray, who are expected to be designated as Vice Chairs; District Judge Claria Horn Boom; former District Judge John Gleeson; and Candice Wong.
Upon appointment of the new Commissioners, current Acting Chair Senior District Judge Charles Breyer will step down from his position at the agency.
Judge Breyer said of the new Commissioners, “It is great news that the Senate has confirmed a full slate of seven bipartisan Commissioners. The lack of a quorum at the Sentencing Commission has created a void in the criminal justice system. As Senior US District Judge for the Northern District of California and Acting Chair of the Sentencing Commission, I know all too well the difficulty judges have faced in implementing the criminal justice reforms enacted by the First Step Act in 2018.”
“In addition, the Commission has been unable to provide guidance on a number of recent sentencing policy challenges, leaving the courts without uniform sentencing standards. The Sentencing Commission is vital to ensuring fairness and effectiveness of federal sentencing guidelines and policy.”
“These new Commissioners have an important task ahead of them. I am grateful to all of them for their willingness to serve in this important capacity, and I am honored and look forward to working with them.”
Incoming Chair Carlton W. Reeves, US District Judge for the Southern District of Mississippi said, “The criminal justice system has some troubling divisions that have emerged among courts on sentencing issues during the years the Commission lacked a quorum.”
“My new Commission colleagues are all highly experienced professionals with vast knowledge of and broad expertise in the criminal justice system.”
“Our diverse backgrounds and expertise will bode well as the Commission works to address these complex issues in a bipartisan matter.”
“I am honored to have been nominated to this position by the President and to have been confirmed by the Senate.”
“I also am grateful for the many years that Judge Charles Breyer served on the Commission. Under his leadership, the Commission completed some important reports on recidivism, fentanyl, firearms offenses and compassionate release, to name just a few. His efforts to promote transparency and national uniformity in sentencing are to be commended.”
“We look forward to building upon all the great work that Judge Breyer and past Commissioners have done.”
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The United States Sentencing Commission, an independent agency in the judicial branch of the federal government, was organized in 1985 to develop a national sentencing policy for the federal courts. The resulting sentencing guidelines provide structure for the courts’ sentencing discretion to help ensure that similar offenders who commit similar offenses receive similar sentences.