Monday, September 11, 2006

News of the Day 9-11-06

DOJ issued a report Sunday saying that, while overall crime is at a 32-year low, robbery and gun violence, crimes leading to big pressure on sentencing, were up last year (this after a similar earlier report on homicides). Law enforcement is pinning the rap on declining fed support as funds have shifted to homeland security. The feds are apparently listening. We'll track if it goes beyond that. . . . A major KS sentencing commissioner, Paul Morrison, DA from Johnson Co. there, is in a close battle to defeat the current AG, who is charging that the commission's successful policy on moving nonviolent offenders out of prison to save space for violent and/or habitual types has endangered the public. Morrison has argued that resources are limited in KS and the commission policy is the smart one. Another story to track. . . . The Sacramento Bee says that CA corrections folks are surveying inmates to see which might be willing to serve time in a FL private domicile (run by folks who have given $90,000 to the governor). Is this an innovation or a common practice, because it's the first I've heard of this (doing a survey of inmates about moving, not the $90,000). . . . Finally, both Doug Berman and Crime and Consequences tip us to this story of the IN Supreme Court trying to decide if the state's Booker fix frees judges from having to do sentencing statements to justify their decisions, which may lead to inconsistent sentencing. A nice test case of moving prescriptive guidelines to voluntary.

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