Sunday, July 10, 2005

Beyond Belief - Sensenbrenner strikes again

This is so over the top that I'm sputtering as I write this.

In an extraordinary move, the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee privately demanded last month that the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago change its decision in a narcotics case because he didn't believe a drug courier got a harsh enough prison term.

Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), in a five-page letter dated June 23 to Chief Judge Joel Flaum, asserted that a June 16 decision by a three-judge appeals court panel was wrong.

He demanded "a prompt response" as to what steps Flaum would take "to rectify the panel's actions" in a case where a drug courier in a Chicago police corruption case received a 97-month prison sentence instead of the at least 120 months required by a drug-conspiracy statute.
Who the hell does he think he is, the sole embodiment of the US justice system? The judge, "sent a letter back to Sensenbrenner saying it was inappropriate to comment on a pending case. But the panel amended its ruling to cite a Supreme Court case that showed Sensenbrenner was wrong."

Senselessbrenner violated every rule in the book with this interference, from failing to copy the defendants with the letter, to congressional interference, to just plain criminal waste of the taxpayer's money on pursing a personal vendetta on drug offenses. The court rightly made a downward departure on the sentencing in light of the facts.
Evidence at the trial showed that Rivera, who had no criminal record, was personally involved in handling less than 5 kilograms.
Hardly sounds like a drug mastermind that should warrant the attention of the Judiciary Committee. But then Sensenbrenner is the author of the Snitch or Go to Jail and Five Years for One Joint bill now currently pending in Congress.

The guy makes Marc Souder look sane. I feel like moving to his congressional district just so I could vote against him. I certainly hope his constitutents feel the same by now.

[hat to Talk Left who has many more links]


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