From The Bench

Repeal of Mandatory Minimum Sentencing not Looking Good

by Glenn Brenner

Posted on March 03, 2017 11:55 AM

The UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION (USSC) conducted a study of recidivism rates among federal offenders sentenced in the past few years. the results are not great for those who fight to abolish the mandatory sentencing minimums in drug offenses.
Report Highlights

Some highlights of the Commission’s study are that:

Over the eight-year follow-up period, one-half (50.0%) of federal drug trafficking offenders were rearrested (see bar chart). Of those drug trafficking offenders who recidivated, the median time to rearrest was 25 months.

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Criminal Justice Reform Efforts Brace for Tough Road in Trump Era

by Glenn Brenner

Posted on February 18, 2017 02:30 PM

Advocates of changes such as shorter prison sentences find themselves searching for hints on Trump’s positions

The ascent of President Trump—and his choice for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R., Ala.)—suggests rougher terrain ahead despite Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley’s (R., Iowa) plan to revive the reform push.. Trump rarely spoke explicitly about criminal justice on the campaign trail, but Mr. Sessions, a former prosecutor, is a staunch opponent of shortening prison sentences.

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Verdicts in sex case highlight differences in civil, criminal law

by Terrie Morgan-Besecker

Posted on February 17, 2017 04:15 PM

The civil trial verdict in favor of Old Forge borough, its fire company and two former police officers who were charged with sexually abusing a minor highlights key differences in criminal and civil law, attorneys for the defendants said.

Earlier this week, a federal jury found former firefighter Walter Chiavacci liable, but cleared the borough, former police chief Larry Semenza and former police captain Jamie Krenitsky, despite the fact that Krenitsky pleaded guilty in 2013, to indecently assaulting the victim when she was 15. The Citizens’ Voice does not identify victims of sexual assault.

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