Comments in Response to the U.S. Sentencing Commission: Proposed 2023 Amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
NCLA generally supports the Commission’s efforts to resolve the existing Circuit split regarding USSG § 4B1.2, as the current version of that Guideline has invited repeated use of Stinson deference in the district courts, to the detriment of the constitutional rights of countless criminal defendants. As discussed below, faithful application of Stinson deference also invites constitutional mischief, depriving defendants of their due process rights and often expanding the amount of time individuals are sentenced beyond the times prescribed by Congress. The amendment to USSG § 4B1.2 is a good first step, but additional work is necessary to alleviate district courts’ reliance on Stinson deference and the harms that reliance incurs.
Join the new civil liberties movement. Protect Americans from the Administrative State!
LITIGATION COUNSEL: Kara Rollins
SUBMISSION DATE: March 14, 2023