Thursday, June 28, 2007

Scott: Abolish mandatory sentencing guidelines

Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Va., has vowed to abolish federal mandatory sentencing guidelines, reports The Daily Press.

Scott, chair of the House Judiciary subcommittee on crime, held hearings in Washington this past week. The leading witness was a federal judge from Utah who noted that he was compelled by the guidelines to give a first-time offender who carried but didn't use or display a gun during a drug deal a total of 55 years; later that same day he sentenced a murderer to 22 years.

Scott's Republican colleague, Rep. Randy Forbes of Chesapeake, countered that while the sentencing system may have problems, it can be fine-tuned instead of scrapped.

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