Public Meeting - April 25, 1997

Minutes of the April 25, 1997

United States Sentencing Commission Business Meeting


The meeting was called to order by Chairman Richard P. Conaboy at 9:02 a.m.

Chairman Conaboy, Vice Chairmen Michael S. Gelacak and Michael Goldsmith, Commissioners Wayne A. Budd and Deanell R. Tacha, and Ex Officio Commissioner Mary Harkenrider participated via telephone.

The following staff and guests participated in the Commissioners' Conference room: Staff Director John Kramer, Deputy Staff Director Paul K. Martin, General Counsel John R. Steer, Alan Chaset, representative of the Practitioners' Advisory Group, John A. Gilbert, representative of the law offices of Hyman, Phelps & McNamera, and Tom Hutchison, representative of the Federal Public Defenders.

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to adopt the minutes of the April 8, 1997, business meeting with notations in Amendment #9, relating to listed chemicals and prohibited equipment, that a motion was made by Commissioner Tacha to adopt a two-level increase that was withdrawn pending further discussion and that Amendment #11, relating to retroactivity, was deferred pending additional submission of comments by the Committee on Criminal Law and other interested parties; seconded by Commissioner Budd. Passed unanimously.

Amendment #8(a) Trafficking in Flunitrazepam

This amendment establishes higher penalties for trafficking offenses through the Drug Quantity Table.

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to adopt the substitute amendment; seconded by Commissioner Goldsmith. Commissioner Tacha voted in the affirmative, with Commissioners Budd, Conaboy, Gelacak, and Goldsmith voting against. Failed, 1-4.

Chairman Conaboy moved Option 1, with 5,000 or more units triggering base offense level 20 and at least 300 units triggering base offense level 14; seconded by Commissioner Budd. Because of a technical problem with specifying unit triggering numbers at the high and low end, Chairman Conaboy amended his motion to specify that base offense level 14 is to be triggered by at least 312 units with conforming changes up the equivalency table. Passed unanimously.

Amendment #8(b) Simple Possession Penalty and #8(c) Distribution with Intent to Commit Crime of Violence

Amendment #8(b) establishes an offense level for simple possession of flunitrazepam. Amendment #8(c) establishes penalties for the new offense of distributing a controlled substance with intent to commit a crime of violence.

Motion made by Commissioner Tacha to adopt the substitute amendment; seconded by Commissioner Goldsmith. Passed unanimously.

Chairman Conaboy announced that the next meeting will be held April 28, 1997, at 12:00 noon.

Chairman Conaboy adjourned the meeting into executive session at 9:50 a.m.