Federal Sentencing at a Crossroads: A Call for Leadership

On Monday, May 24, 2010, the Center and the Federal Bar Council cosponsored a panel discussion, "Federal Sentencing at a Crossroads: A Call for Leadership."

The discussion was moderated by The Honorable John Gleeson, United States District Judge, United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Panelists included:

  • Rachel E. Barkow, Professor of Law, New York University School of Law, and Faculty Director, Center on the Administration of Criminal Law
  • The Honorable John Conyers, Jr., United States Representative, 14th District, Michigan, and Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary, United States House of Representatives
  • Anthony Ricco, Esq., Criminal Defense Attorney
  • The Honorable William K. Sessions, Chief Judge, United States District Court for the District of Vermont, and Chair, United States Sentencing Commission
  • Alan Vinegrad, Partner, Covington & Burling LLP and former United States Attorney, Eastern District of New York
  • Jonathan J. Wroblewski, Director, Office of Policy and Legislation, Criminal Division, United States Department of Justice, and ex-officio member, United States Sentencing Commission

This program brought together leaders in sentencing policy to discuss various questions, including: Who is -- and who should be -- in charge of federal sentencing policy?  What changes are desirable, and how can change best be accomplished?  Why is change in favor of defendants so elusive, even in narrow contexts where prosecutors agree it is necessary?  Should sentencing policy at the federal level be linked to its fiscal consequences, as it is in the states?  The program explored these and other questions in part through the window provided by recent developments related to nonviolent drug offenders, including pending legislation to reduce the disparity between federal sentences for crack cocaine and powder cocaine offenses.

Two CLE credits in "areas of professional practice" credit were awarded.

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