Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
The enactment of lengthy no-parole sentences and the atrophy of other statutory early release mechanisms has placed unusual demands on the clemency mechanism in recent years, notably in the federal system. Similarly, an increase in the number and severity of collateral penalties has made pardon the only way most people with a criminal record can pay their debt to society. As Enlightenment philosophers recognized, clemency was never intended to substitute for a well-functioning legal system. With all due respect to Alexander Hamilton, in today’s world it is questionable whether a politician is “a more eligible dispenser of the mercy of the government” than a court.
The American Law Institute recently approved a revision of the sentencing articles of the Model Penal Code, the first such revision in 60 years. The revised MPC includes provisions intended to reduce the need for executiveclemency, in two ways. First, the MPC provides authority for courts to reduce prison sentences in situations where circumstances have fundamentally changed. Second, the MPC proposes a comprehensive scheme for managing the collateral consequences of conviction that makes courts the primary source of relief. Former U.S. Pardon Attorney Margaret Love, currently the Executive Director of the Collateral Consequences Resource Center, will discuss the merits and potential consequences of these proposed MPC reforms.
Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Podcast
- Margaret Love, Law Office of Margaret Love
- Moderator: John Malcolm, Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, and Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, The Heritage Foundation
Immigration law and enforcement have been on the front pages for the last several years, and that shows no signs of changing. One aspect to our national debate on immigration that hasn't received as much attention as it should is the effect that the several states can have on the issue. Through its policing powers and criminal sentencing guidelines, a state can influence who the federal immigration authorities can remove from the country. Our experts discussed the important constitutional issues that these trends present.
2014 National Lawyers Convention
- Peter K. Nunez, Chairman, Center for Immigration Studies Board of Directors
- Margaret D. Stock, Counsel to the Firm, Cascadia Cross-Border Law
- Moderator: Brian M. Fish, Member, Federalist Society Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group Executive Committee
Although prison populations at the federal level have very recently declined for the first time in decades, prisoner population at the state level rose. The cost of crime, some that can be measured and some that are impossible to measure, is undoubtedly high, but so too is the cost of incarceration. Are we striking the right balance in length of sentences? And what is the proper balance between latitude and sentencing guidelines for judges? Do the answers to these questions differ for the state versus the federal criminal justice system?
The Federalist Society's Criminal Law & Procedure Practice Group presented this panel on "Criminal Sentencing Reform: A Conversation among Conservatives" on Friday, November 14, during the 2014 National Lawyers Convention.
- Mr. Marc A. Levin, Director, Center for Effective Justice, Texas Public Policy Foundation
- Mr. John G. Malcolm, Director and Ed Gilbertson and Sherry Lindberg Gilbertson Senior Legal Fellow, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation
- Hon. Michael B. Mukasey, Partner, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP and former U.S. Attorney General
- Prof. William G. Otis, Adjunct Professor of Law, Georgetown University Law Center
- Moderator: Hon. William H. Pryor, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Mayflower Hotel SCOTUScast 5-29-14 featuring John Malcolm and Paul Cassell
On April 23, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Paroline v. United States. The question in this child pornography case was what, if any, causal relationship or nexus between the defendant's conduct and the victim's harm or damages must the government or the victim establish in order to recover restitution under 18 U.S.C. Sec. 2259.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Court held that restitution is proper under §2259 only to the extent the defendant’s offense proximately caused a victim’s losses. Justices Ginsburg, Breyer, Alito, and Kagan joined the opinion of the Court. Chief Justice Roberts authored a dissenting opinion, which Justices Scalia and Thomas joined. Justice Sotomayor wrote a separate dissenting opinion. By a vote of 5-4, the decision of the Fifth Circuit was vacated and remanded.
To discuss the case, we have John G. Malcolm, Director, Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies, The Heritage Foundation and Paul Cassell, Ronald N. Boyce Presidential Professor of Criminal Law, University of Utah College Of Law.