Briefing Room


Professor Berman to testify on future of Sentencing Commission

January 17, 2012 | Faculty

The U.S. Sentencing Commission’s role has been questioned on a number of fronts in recent years. In 2005, the Supreme Court held the commission’s mandatory guidelines unconstitutional, following evidence that they perpetuate rather than eliminate disparities. And in recent months, some conservatives have attacked the Sentencing Commission’s decision to make its crack cocaine sentencing guidelines retroactive after the enactment of the Fair Sentencing Act.

On Thursday, Jan. 19, the American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) will host a panel of experts to discuss the Commission’s relevance and reach in the wake of these and other developments.

Testifying will be Douglas A. Berman, the Robert J. Watkins/Procter & Gamble Professor of Law at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law; the Honorable Patti B. Saris of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts and chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission; and Amy Baron-Evans, sentencing resource counsel, Federal Public and Community Defenders.

The event will take place at the ACLU Washington Legislative Office from 1:30 to 3 p.m.