News Release

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

For Immediate Release
May 22, 2009

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


Hearing is Second in a Series Marking 25th Anniversary of Sentencing Reform Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 22, 2009) - The United States Sentencing Commission will hold the second in a series of regional public hearings on federal sentencing policy to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 (“SRA”). The hearing will be held at Stanford Law School on May 27-28, 2009. The Commission is holding these public hearings to gather feedback from experts on federal sentencing practices, the federal sentencing guidelines, and the implementation of the Sentencing Reform Act over the past 25 years. Testifying at the hearing will be federal circuit and district court judges, representatives from the U.S. Department of Justice, defense attorneys, probation officers, and members of the academic community and community interest groups.

The SRA established the Commission as an independent agency in the judicial branch of government and directed it to establish sentencing policies and practices for the federal criminal justice system, principally through the promulgation of federal sentencing guidelines.

As directed by the SRA, the sentencing guidelines are designed to -

* incorporate the purposes of sentencing (i.e., just punishment, deterrence, incapacitation, and rehabilitation);

* provide certainty and fairness in meeting the purposes of sentencing by avoiding unwarranted disparity among offenders with similar characteristics convicted of similar criminal conduct, while permitting sufficient judicial flexibility to take into account relevant aggravating and mitigating factors; and

* reflect, to the extent practicable, advancement in the knowledge of human behavior as it relates to the criminal justice process.

The public and the media are invited to attend the hearing, which will be held at the Stanford Law School, Moot Courtroom (lower level), 559 Nathan Abbott Way, Stanford, CA. On May 27, the hearing will begin at 8:45 a.m. and conclude at 5:00 p.m. On May 28, it will begin at 8:15 a.m. and will conclude at 12:45 p.m. The agenda (including a list of witnesses) for the hearing in Stanford, CA, is available on the Commission’s web site.