Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Federal Sentencing Commission to hold regional hearing this week in Austin

Via Sentencing Law and Policy I discover that the US Sentencing Commission will be meeting in Austin this week. Here's the press release announcing the event and an agenda with a list of speakers.

According to the release, "The public and the media are invited to attend the hearing, which will be held at the University of Texas at Austin School of Law, Eidman Courtroom, CCJ Building, 727 East Dean Keeton Street, Austin, TX 78705. On November 19, the hearing will begin at 8:30 a.m. and conclude at 3:00 p.m. On November 20, it will begin at 8:45 a.m. and will conclude at 1:00 p.m."

On Thursday, Dallas DA Craig Watkins will be on a panel discussing "Alternatives to incarceration, reentry, and community impact." Adam Gelb of the Pew Center on the States will be on the same panel - I've read and used his work before but never met Mr. Gelb. Another panel on federal probation consists of the probation directors in Texas' Western and Southern Judicial Districts.

On Friday morning, Judges Edith Jones and Fortunato Benavides from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will offer a "View from the Appellate Bench." Harley Lappin, the director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, will also speak on Friday.

This blog doesn't closely follow federal sentencing issues, and I've never been to a US Sentencing Commission meeting. (Texas relies on jury sentencing and plea bargains and doesn't have a comparable body.) But if they're going to bring all these bigwigs to Austin and speak about criminal justice issues just a mile or so from my home, I suppose I should attend. :)


Anonymous said...

just a mile or so from my home, I suppose I should attend

Just don't take the grandkid with you!


Gritsforbreakfast said...

If I do we won't walk, just in case the prohibition on Babysitting While White is still in effect. ;)

Texas Maverick said...

Please go for us. Since Texas chases the Fed.$$ except when it might actually benefit the blue collar working person, keeping abreast of federal thought is so important. Interesting that Craig, a newcomer in Dallas DA office is asked to speak. But then again they can't ignore the obvious - if the prosecution is not fair then the sentencing cannot be fair. Our haste to finance TDCJ with fed money makes this hearing very important. Thanks for taking your time for these issues.

Anonymous said...

Brookins trial delayed
November 17, 2009
Judge Jay Gibson granted a continuance Monday in the already long-delayed trial of a former West Texas State School employee charged with sexually abusing teen inmates.

Anonymous said...

The trial day is set for April 19, 2010.
The defense is seeking an additional attorney before the case proceeds.
Brookins will be tried here in Ector County.

I have know Idea why they need an additional attorney.


Anonymous said...

The trial of former Assistant Superintendent Ray Brookins and Principal John Hernandez formerly of the West Texas State School in Pyote is, of course, important in itself. More important is what may come to light regarding the culture that existed from top to bottom at TYC in 2007 (when the curtain was suddenly pulled back).

Believe it or not, despite all the disturbing news stories, the full story of this cabal has yet to be revealed. This trial may reveal new details of the everyday practices of the top 20 members of the "One Team" that ran TYC - or should we say ran it into the ground. Keep your eye on this trial and then Hernandez's trial when it is eventually litigated.

Douglas said...

Hey Scott,

I suspect you will find this kind of USSC hearings interesting, for a variety of reasons. And, if/when you blog about the experience, I will be sure to link to your coverage.

Anonymous said...

If you want to see what is happening in Texas a sentencing conference is occurring at the Doubletree in Austin. Hopefully where sentencing is going in Texas.Over one half of the conference attendees is made of prosecutors and Judges across Texas.

Anonymous said...

I would like to be there to ask them about the federal sentencing guidelines that will be imposed on Americans who do not purchase health care coverage.

Americans who do not maintain “acceptable health insurance coverage” and who choose not to pay the bill’s new individual mandate tax (generally 2.5% of income), are subject to numerous civil and criminal penalties, including criminal fines of up to $25,000 and imprisonment of up to five years.

KOMO-TV: Do you think it’s fair to send people to jail who don’t buy health insurance?

Pelosi: .. "the legislation is very fair in this respect."

Can't wait to see local police and the feds going into the hood and arresting gang members for not having health insurance.