May 7, 2005

Booker, who won in the Supreme Court, gets the same 30-year sentence.

"Too old to become involved in criminal activity? Not on your life, counselor. He'll never be too old," said Judge Shabaz as he handed Freddie Joe Booker the same 30-year sentence he gave him back before Booker fought his way to a victory in the U.S. Supreme Court last January. The Court found a Sixth Amendment problem with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that led it to reframe the Guidelines as discretionary rather than mandatory. It remains to be seen how much the Booker decision will change things at ground level:
Assistant U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil said the Booker decision hasn't caused more defendants in this federal district to choose trials over pleas because both Judge Barbara Crabb and Shabaz continue follow the guidelines.

"I can only speak to what's happening here, but our judges look at the guidelines and have largely determined them to be appropriate...Both (judges) have made it clear that one of the goals of following the guidelines is to keep a uniform approach to sentencing cases across the country," Vaudreuil said.

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