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[Federal Register: July 1, 2003 (Volume 68, Number 126)]
[Page 39173]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access []

[[Page 39173]]



Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts

AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission.

ACTION: Notice of proposed priorities; request for public comment.


SUMMARY: As part of its statutory authority and responsibility to 
analyze sentencing issues, including operation of the federal 
sentencing guidelines, and in accordance with Rule 5.2 of its Rules of 
Practice and Procedure, the Commission is seeking comment on possible 
priority policy issues for the amendment cycle ending May 1, 2004.

DATES: Public comment should be received on or before August 1, 2003.

ADDRESSES: Send comments to: United States Sentencing Commission, One 
Columbus Circle, NE., Suite 2-500, South Lobby, Washington, DC 20002-
8002, Attention: Public Affairs-Priorities Comment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Michael Courlander, Public Affairs 
Officer, Telephone: (202) 502-4590.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Sentencing Commission is 
an independent agency in the judicial branch of the United States 
Government. The Commission promulgates sentencing guidelines and policy 
statements for federal sentencing courts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(a). 
The Commission also periodically reviews and revises previously 
promulgated guidelines pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(o) and submits 
guideline amendments to the Congress not later than the first day of 
May each year pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(p).
    For the amendment cycle ending May 1, 2004, and possibly continuing 
into the amendment cycle ending May 1, 2005, the Commission has 
identified the following tentative priorities:
    (1) Implementation of the PROTECT Act, Public Law 108-21, including 
guideline amendments addressing the directives to the Commission in (A) 
section 401 pertaining to downward departures; (B) sections 401, 504, 
512, and 513 pertaining to new and existing sex offenses and offenses 
involving virtual pornography; and (C) section 608 pertaining to 
increased penalties for offenses involving the trafficking of GHB;
    (2) consideration and implementation of recommendations made by the 
Commission's Organizational Guidelines Advisory Group;
    (3) consideration and implementation of recommendations made by the 
Commission's Native American Advisory Group;
    (4) continuation of its work implementing the 21st Century 
Department of Justice Appropriations Authorization Act, Public Law 107-
273, including guideline amendments pertaining to (A) assaulting or 
threatening federal judges or other officials described in 18 U.S.C. 
111 or 115; and (B) a new offense, at 18 U.S.C. 931, prohibiting 
violent felons from purchasing, owning, or possessing body armor;
    (5) consideration of guideline amendment proposals related to the 
public corruption guidelines in Chapter Two, Part C (Offenses Involving 
Public Officials);
    (6) continuation of its work on the 15 Year Study, which is 
composed of a number of projects geared toward analyzing the guidelines 
in light of the goals of sentencing reform described in the Sentencing 
Reform Act and the statutory purposes of sentencing set forth in 18 
U.S.C. 3553(a)(2);
    (7) continuation of its policy work related to manslaughter, 
particularly consideration of guideline amendment proposals providing 
specific offense characteristics in section 2A1.4 (Involuntary 
    (8) continuation of its policy work related to immigration 
offenses, including offenses under sections 2L1.1 (Smuggling, 
Transporting, or Harboring an Unlawful Alien) and 2L1.2 (Unlawfully 
Entering or Remaining in the United States);
    (9) consideration of guideline amendment proposals pertaining to 
compassionate release programs;
    (10) other miscellaneous and limited issues pertaining to the 
operation of the sentencing guidelines, including (A) offenses 
involving the unlawful sale or transportation of drug paraphernalia; 
and (B) offenses involving the receipt or possession of stolen mail;
    (11) implementation of other crime legislation enacted during the 
first session of the 108th Congress warranting a Commission response;
    (12) review of the limitation on the base offense level (i.e., not 
more than level 30) provided in subsection (a)(3) of section 2D1.1 
(Unlawful Manufacturing, Importing, Exporting, or Trafficking 
(Including Possession with Intent to Commit these Offenses); Attempt or 
Conspiracy); and
    (13) continuation of its multiyear research, policy work, and 
possible guideline amendments relating to Chapter Four (Criminal 
History and Criminal Livelihood), which may include (A) assessment of 
the calculation of criminal history points for first time offenders and 
offenders who are in the highest criminal history categories; (B) 
assessment of the criminal history rules for minor offenses, juvenile 
offenses, and expunged convictions; (C) assessment of the criminal 
history rules for related cases; and (D) consideration of other 
application issues relating to simplifying the operation of Chapter 
    The Commission hereby gives notice that it is seeking comment on 
these tentative priorities and on any other issues that interested 
persons believe the Commission should address during the amendment 
cycle ending May 1, 2004, including short- and long-term research 
issues. To the extent practicable, comments submitted on such issues 
should include the following: (1) A statement of the issue, including 
scope and manner of study, particular problem areas and possible 
solutions, and any other matters relevant to a proposed priority; (2) 
citations to applicable sentencing guidelines, statutes, case law, and 
constitutional provisions; and (3) a direct and concise statement of 
why the Commission should make the issue a priority.

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 994(a), (o); USSC Rules of Practice and 
Procedure 5.2.

Diana E. Murphy,
[FR Doc. 03-16574 Filed 6-30-03; 8:45 am]