On May 10, 2017 Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued a memorandum to all federal prosecutors setting out the new administration’s policy on charging and sentencing. The directive may result in more frequent use of mandatory minimums and longer sentences for offenders.
Under the new policy, federal prosecutors are directed to charge and pursue the “most serious” and readily provable offense, defined as “those that carry the most substantial guidelines sentence, including mandatory minimum sentences.” The memorandum recognizes that there may be some limited circumstance in which prosecutors find that strict application of the charging policy is not warranted. In remarks to New York City law enforcement on Friday, May 12, the Attorney General noted that his policy gives prosecutors discretion to avoid sentences that would result in an injustice. Assistant United States Attorneys must, however, obtain approval to charge less than the most serious offense.
The policy represents a stark reversal of the charging guidelines crafted by the Obama administration, which directed prosecutors not to charge defendants with crimes that carried mandatory minimum sentences under Title 21 based on drug type and quantity where the defendant met certain criteria, including that the defendant’s conduct did not involve violence, trafficking to minors, or serious injury or death. The reversal of the former administration’s charging guidelines affects prosecutors’ ability to consider the individualized circumstances and characteristics of defendants implicated in drug offenses at the charging stage.
The new memorandum addresses sentencing policy as well. It requires prosecutors to disclose to the sentencing court all facts that impact the sentencing guidelines or mandatory minimum sentences and to seek a reasonable sentence under the § 3553 factors in all cases. According to the policy, sentences imposed within the guideline range will be considered appropriate in most cases.
Say hello to “Petro” – A medical service dog-in-training, by Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, for a U.S. military veteran suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). The Pietragallo Law Firm is proud to support Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc., through the Pittsburgh Mutt Strut event, which has a dramatic impact on the quality… Read more »Read More
Pamela Coyle Brecht has been invited to speak at this winter’s ACI’s False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement program, taking place on January 27-28th at the Park Lane Hotel in NYC. This advanced forum on False Claims and Qui Tam Enforcement is designed to provide up-to-date guidance and analysis from the most respected false claims… Read more »Read More
Joseph L. Gordon will be presenting “OSHA’s Ten Most Common Violations – An Insider’s Perspective on Easy Solutions to Overlooked Hazards” at The Pennsylvania State Council of SHRM’s 2019 State Conference in State College, PA. Joe will be a co-presenter with Nicholas DeJesse, an Assistant Regional Administrator with OSHA. For more information, including how to attend… Read more »Read More
Marc Stephen Raspanti will be speaking at a False Claims Act Enforcement Roundtable on September 19, 2019 from 4:00-6:30pm in Miami, Florida. This event is being co-hosted by Pietragallo, Morgan Lewis, the Women’s White Collar Defense Association, and the American Bar Association’s Qui Tam Subcommittee for a False Claims Act/Qui Tam Roundtable, “Florida Style.” The discussion… Read more »Read More