Public Meeting - January 28, 1993

Minutes of the January 28, 1993

United States Sentencing Commission Business Meeting


The meeting was called to order at 10:01 a.m. by Chairman William W. Wilkins, Jr., in the conference room of the

Sentencing Commission. The following Commissioners, staff, and guests participated;

  • William W. Wilkins, Jr., Chairman

  • Julie E. Carnes, Commissioner

  • Michael S. Gelacak, Commissioner

  • A. David Mazzone, Commissioner

  • Ilene H. Nagel, Commissioner

  • Roger Pauley, Acting Ex Officio Commissioner

  • Phyllis J. Newton, Staff Director

  • Paul K. Martin, Deputy Staff Director

  • John R. Steer, General Counsel

  • Sharon Henegan, Director, Training and Technical Assistance

  • Peter Hoffman, Principal Technical Advisor

  • Susan Katzenelson, Director, Policy Analysis

  • Pamela Montgomery, Deputy General Counsel

  • Winthrop Swenson, Legislative Counsel

  • A.J. Kramer, Representative, Federal Defenders

  • Maggie Jensen, Representative, Probation Office


Chairman Wilkins introduced AUSA Catherine Goodman (N.D. CA.), and Probation Officers Milton Gross (D. MD) and Paul (Mitch) Michener (E.D. PA.), all on temporary assignment to the Commission. Staff Director Newton mention that Mr. Michener previously assisted the Commission in conducting national training.

Motion made by Commissioner Mazzone to adopt the minutes of the December 7, 1992, meeting. Passed unanimously.

General Counsel Steer updated the Commission on the status of the Commission's revocation of probation and supervised release legislation. He stated that the intention is to have the bill reintroduced this session and to have it moved as a free-standing measure. General Counsel Steer was directed to draft a letter representing that the Commission unanimously urges the Congress to adopt this legislation as critical to the proper functioning of the guidelines and the criminal justice system.

Legislative Counsel Swenson updated the Commission concerning legislative matters. He stated that Commission staff has met with approximately two dozen congressional staff members, mostly of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees, to provide an introduction to the Commission itself, an overview of the guidelines system and how it operates, to discuss the findings of the Mandatory Minimum Report, and, in some instances, to provide technical assistance. He further reported that the prospects for a crime bill and what would be contained in it were unknown at this time and that there were a number of changes in the membership of the Judiciary Committees.

Deputy General Counsel Montgomery briefed the Commission on current caselaw. A discussion ensued concerning the Commission's grouping rules as applied in United States v. Sneezer, No. 91-10457 (9th Cir. Dec. 30, 1992).

Susan Katzenelson briefed the Commission on the upcoming research conference to be held March 1 and 2, 1993. She stated that there has been eager acceptance from those asked to participated, with response being good from the more than 200 invitations that have been mailed. Commissioner Nagel suggested that the Commission reach out to the nonprofit research corporations. Katzenelson stated that the reception on March 1, 1993, would be held in the atrium of the newly named Thurgood Marshall Judiciary Building.

Staff Director Newton reported on the logistics of the Drugs and Violence in America Symposium. She stated that a conference planner to handle the logistics of the Symposium has been contracted. Commissioner Mazzone stated that Chief Justice Rehnquist and Senator Kennedy have accepted the Commission's invitations to speak and that invitations have been extended to Senators Biden and Hatch, Congressman Schumer, and others, including many state and local government officials.

Sharon Henegan reported that her staff was still responding to training requests. She stated that the training process has been somewhat streamlined within the past six months to cover as many aspects of a district as possible. That is, generally, typical requests for training originate from the probation department of particular districts. The Commission, in turn, calls the federal defender, AUSA, and the court of these districts and offers to conduct training at the same time.

She stated that this is beneficial to the Commission in terms of maximizing resources and to the field in terms of all parties in a district being informed.

Chairman Wilkins adjourned the meeting into executive session at 10:50 a.m.