Pursuing Meaningful Sentencing Reform
The Open Society Policy Center endorses a letter sent by 50 organizations to Congress encouraging them to take deliberative action on sentencing reform.

January 12, 2005

The Open Society Policy Center endorses a letter, sent by 50 organizations, to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees. The letter urges Members not to act abruptly in light of a Supreme Court ruling today that declared a key component of the federal sentencing guidelines unconstitutional. The letter says that the Court’s ruling presents Congress with an opportunity to pursue meaningful sentencing reform.

The letter asks Members to consider two key issues when considering legislative action on sentencing:

1. Congress should avoid the temptation to create a “quick fix.” There is no real quick fix, and seeking an end run around the important issues could have unintended negative consequences.

2. In order to have punishments that fit the crimes committed, Congress must closely evaluate the past 20 years of sentencing policy and the broader implications of those policies. Mandatory minimum sentences and other problems should be fixed in the process.

The letter urged Congress to work toward meaningful sentencing reform.

A full copy of the letter is available in PDF form.

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