There have been encouraging signs of change coming in the area of Criminal Justice Reform lately, both in Alabama and in the Federal courts. Leaders in both areas have apparently come to the reasonable conclusion that the current system is untenable and unsustainable in the long term. Have we seen the beginning of a thaw in tough mandatory sentences?
Skier & Associates is proud to announce that founder Andrew M. Skier has been selected to attend the National Federal Defenders’ Trial Skills Academy in San Diego, California. This prestigious week-long program brings federal practitioners from around the country to work together on all aspects of preparing and trying criminal cases.
I was recently contacted by a reporter from the Wall Street Journal who was working on a story about inmates in state prisons having their identities stolen while they are incarcerated. I was quoted in his article and there is a brief discussion of United States v. Bryant Thompson, a case I tried in the Federal Court for the Middle District of Alabama a little over a year ago.
A recent article in the New York Times suggests that the US Supreme Court may soon review state laws that allow judges (who are mostly elected in partisan elections) to override juries recommendations and sentence capital murder defendants to the death penalty. I personally welcome this, as I have felt some unease with the current scheme for some time.
Congress has approved an amendment to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that drastically decreases the punishment for those convicted of many drug offenses. Importantly, Congress made these changes retroactive, meaning that most people presently serving a federal sentence who qualify can petition the Court to have their sentence reduced to the new guideline level.