A little learning, indeed, may be a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people.

- Frederick Douglas

Sentencing Freedom

Civil libertarians for long have held that the sentencing guidelines, as used, were wrong. Instead of being used as guidelines, they have been applied as rules. The Supreme Court helped clarify the issue a bit today, by letting the courts know they are guidelines, and do not have to be, nor should be, adhered to as rules.

The interesting writing, though, was in the dissent in the second part of the ruling. Apparently, some of the justices are not happy with the fact that some convicts will challenge their sentences in court, as this will burden the courts, even though they are clearly stating they may have been improperly sentenced. These are judges on the right, which apparently believe that when the government makes a mistake, we should bear the burden and move on without redress. (The right calls for less government, yet they still seem to feel that government is omnipotent.)

The bottom line is it places our legal system a bit more on the ground our fathers had intended. Juries are supposed to by the powerful body in the courtroom, and now more of the sentencing will be left in the hands of us, the people, jurors.

posted at 14:40:27 on 01/12/05 by clearpolitics - Category: Freedom - [Permalink]

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