Professor Frank Bowman’s Sentencing Proposal Receives Justice Dept. Support
Professor Frank Bowman's proposal for reforming guidelines federal judges use to hand down prison terms for crimes, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported recently.
Assistant Attorney General Christopher Wray said a system drawn up by Professor Frank O. Bowman III “had the most advantages and would be the least cumbersome fix” for the guidelines governing federal sentencing, reporter Gary Fields said in the Nov. 18 WSJ edition.
The law professor's restructure plan calls for taking “the top off the existing guideline ranges, and replacing them with the legally prescribed maximum sentence for a crime.”
The Supreme Court is currently deliberating a case involving the constitutionality of the current federal sentencing structure. Both Wray and Bowman were among the 19 witnesses called in the case.
Bowman has proposed his plan as a temporary fix until the sentencing structure – which allows judges to increase a defendant's sentence based on factors not considered by jurors – can be overhauled, the professor said.
However, unlike the law professor and other witnesses, Wray supports the Bowman plan as a permanent solution, Bowman said.
Bowman, a formal federal prosecutor, has taught law on the IUPUI campus since 1999. The M. Dale Palmer Professor of Law is considered a leading specialist on federal sentencing guidelines.