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ISSUE No. 13
January 8, 2007

CALENDAR: The next meeting of the Sentencing Commission will be held on Tuesday, January 30, 2007, at 10:00 a.m.

New Jersey Sentencing News

December 26, 2006
Courier Post

Editorial:  Lawmakers Must Realize They Can Go To Prison

December 24, 2006
Courier News

Editorial: Lynch Prison Sentence Sends Needed Message

December 20, 2006
Star Ledger

Judges:  No Court Reviews Needed After Acquittals For Insanity     

December 17, 2006
New York Times

With 101 Homicides, Newark Nears A Record

December 5, 2006
Star Ledger

Senate Raises Penalty For Body Part Theft      

December 4, 2006

Inmate Seeks Parole For His Exemplary Record          

November 28, 2006
Star Ledger

Study Calls Juvenile Lockup The Worst Place For Some Kids

National Sentencing News

December 26, 2006
Wall Street Journal

 Sentencing Guidelines Face New Scrutiny 

December 24, 2006
New York Times   
The Right Has A Jailhouse Conversion

December 22, 2006
The Sacramento Bee

Governor’s Prison Plan Spelled Out

December 21, 2006
New York Times

Editorial: Free Genarlow Wilson Now

December 20, 2006
Daily Journal

Op-Ed: Three Good Reasons For [A] Sentencing Commission

December 19, 2006
Los Angeles Times

FBI Reports Rise In Violent Crime

December 19, 2006
The Boston Globe

Editorial: Rethinking The Death Penalty

December 19, 2006

Tracking Sex Offenders With GPS
December 18, 2006

Alabama Prisons Deserve Well-Deserved Attention
December 17, 2006
USA Today

Executions Drop As States Debate Lethal Injection

December 17, 2006
International Herald Tribune

Doctors Say Botched Execution Methods In Florida Likely Caused Slow, Painful Death
December 15, 2006
The Birmingham News

State To Get Help On Sentencing

December 15, 2006
Associated Press

[Oklahoma] Panel Seeks Ways To Reduce Skyrocketing Prison Population

December 14, 2006
Wall Street Journal

On Death Row, Fate Of Mentally Ill Is Thorny Problem

December 11, 2006
New York Times

Prisons Push California To Seek New Approach

December 11, 2006
Quad City Times

Coalition Wants To Scrap 2,000 Foot Law

December 10, 2006
Los Angeles Times

Op-Ed: Punishing Prisoners At All Costs: Prisons Are in Crisis Because of Harsh Sentencing Laws That Don’t Treat Violent and Non-Violent Criminals Much Differently

December 5, 2006
Salt Lake Tribune

Drug Deals Costly: 55 Years – U.S. Top Court Refuses To Hear Utahan’s Appeal

December 6, 2006
Los Angeles Times

Court Bars Automatic Deportations in Drug Cases

November 30, 2006
Associated Press

7 Million In U.S. Jails, On Probation Or Parole

November 29, 2006
Reason Online

One Ring To Ruin Them All:  Anti-Crime Zones Hurt Innocents Instead of Protecting Them

November 27, 2006
New York Times

Zoning Laws That Bar Pedophiles Raise Concerns

November 27, 2006
Philadelphia Enquirer

Phila. Getting Software To Predict Who Might Kill

November 26, 2006
Kansas City Star

Tough On Crime? It’s Hard On Coffers

Document Library

Apprendi & Blakely Issues

A Civil Jury In Criminal Sentencing: Blakely, Financial Penalties, Blakely, Financial Penalties And The Public Rights Exception To The Seventh Amendment
Columbia Law Review

Drug Courts


Final Report To Governor Bush
Governor’s Ex-Offender Task Force


The Role Of Parole In Solving The Texas Prison Crowding Crisis
Texas Public Policy Foundation

General Sentencing Policy

ABA Commission on Effective Sanctions: Recommendations
American Bar Association and National District Attorneys Association

Death Penalty

New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission Report
New Jersey Death Penalty Study Commission

The Death Penalty In 2006:  Year End Report
Death Penalty Information Center

Capital Punishment, 2005
Bureau of Justice Statistics


Does Prison Harden Inmates?: A Discontinuity-Based Approach
M. Keith Chen and Jesse M. Shapiro


Prisoners In 2005
Bureau of Justice Statistics

The Dangers of Detention:  The Impact of Incarcerating Youth in Detention And Other Secure Facilities
Justice Policy Institute


Recent Sentencing Decisions

New Jersey

State  v.  Manuel B. Ortiz,    N.J. Super.  (App. Div. 2006)
Docket No. 4941-2006
Held:  In this appeal, the Appellate Division concluded that where a defendant is adjudicated not guilty by reason of insanity and  released pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2C:4-8b(2) upon a judicial finding that he is not a danger to the community or himself, a trial court cannot subject him to  periodic reviews, i.e., Krol hearings,  as a condition of release.  Such hearings are only authorized when the court concludes that the defendant cannot be released with or without supervision without posing a danger to the community or to himself and accordingly commits the defendant to a mental health facility.  

United States Supreme Court

Lopez  v.  Gonzales,    U.S.__(2006)
Held:  In this appeal, the United States Supreme Court concluded that the term "aggravated felony," which is defined in accordance with federal sentencing statutes and the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines as including "any felony punishable under the Controlled Substances Act," does not include state crimes that are treated as felonies under state law but that would be treated as a misdemeanor under the CSA--at least not for purposes of deportation. An alien who has a prior conviction for an "aggravated felony" is subject to enhanced punishment under the federal Sentencing Guidelines and to reduced opportunities to challenge removal. The definition of "aggravated felony" in the guidelines cross-references to the definition in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that "aggravated felony" means "illicit trafficking in a controlled substance... including a drug trafficking crime" as defined in a federal firearms statute, 18 U.S.C. §924(c)(2). Section 924(c)(2), in turn, says a "drug trafficking crime" includes "any felony punishable under the Controlled Substances Act."  The court pointed out that, in the absence of a statutory definition of the general term "illicit trafficking," canons of statutory construction require the court to give weight to the ordinary meaning of the term. The court said that one of the problems with the government's argument was "its incoherence with any commonsense conception of 'illicit trafficking.' " Ordinarily, the court continued, "trafficking" connotes some sort of commerce, and commerce plays no part in many state possession statutes  like the one under which the alien in this case was convicted

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NJ Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing | PO Box 095 | Trenton, NJ 08625-0095
Tel: 609.341.2813 | Fax: 609.341.2816 | Email: bennett.barlyn@lps.state.nj.us