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General News

U.S. Sentencing Commission Seeks Public Comments

The U.S. Sentencing Commission is seeking public comment on proposed amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines. The deadline for public comment is February 20, 2017.  One of the proposed amendments is related to first offenders and alternatives to incarceration.

The Commission plays an important role in the sentencing of individuals convicted of federal sex offenses, including possession of child pornography.  Written comments should be sent to the Commission by either electronic mail or U.S. mail.

The E-mail address is Public_Comment@ussc.gov and mailing address is U.S. Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle, N.E., Suite 2-500, Washington, D.C. 20002-8002, Attention: Public Affairs.

U.S. Sentecing Commission – Jan 2017

Join the discussion

  1. Need2Know

    The introduction fails to note the amendment to IML that if you fail to give notice of international travel, this will be considered failure to register. But this apply to non-SORNA states? This amendment seems like a big issue.

    • Failure to give notice is failure to register? Huh?

      A failure to give notice of international travel is equal to failing to register? That is an apple and an orange. They are not related at all, but only the US Government would try to make them equal.

      Drain the US Sentencing Commission swamp!

    • Joe123

      I just emailed them about this saying how strongly I am opposed to these amendments. I suggest everyone reading this goes ahead and writes them a letter as well. Let’s do something about this injustice of International Megan’s Law.

  2. Son of Liberty Child of Freedom

    I would say that this is the time in History when everyone participate on a massive level to voice your opinion to the Evil (want) that these Guidelines Lead us all Down a Path of Irreversible Harm especially to The Innocent Loved ones of those Held to the State of a Bondman or Bondwomen.

    This is the Time to prove oneself Reliable.

    Here are the Specs:

    All written comment should be sent to the Commission by electronic mail or regular mail. The email address for public comment is Public_Comment@ussc.gov. The regular mail address for public comment is United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle, N.E., Suite 2-500, Washington, D.C. 20002-8002, Attention: Public Affairs.

    FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Christine Leonard, Director, Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, (202) 502-4500, pubaffairs@ussc.gov.

    7) a multi-part proposed amendment to the Guidelines Manual to respond to recently enacted legislation and miscellaneous guideline issues, including

    B) International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders

    Synopsis of Proposed Amendment: Part B of the proposed amendment responds to the International Megan’s Law to Prevent Child Exploitation and Other Sexual Crimes Through Advanced Notification of Traveling Sex Offenders Act (“International Megan’s Law”), Pub. L. 114–119 (Feb. 8, 2016).

    The Act added a new notification requirement to 42 U.S.C. § 16914 (Information required in [sex offender] registration). Section 16914 states that sex offenders who are required to register under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) must provide certain information for inclusion in the sex offender registry. Those provisions include the offender’s name, Social Security number, address of all residences, name and address where the offender is an employee, the name and address where the offender is a student, license plate number and description of any vehicle. The International Megan’s Law added as an additional requirement that the sex offender must provide “information relating to intended travel of the sex offender outside of the United States, including any anticipated dates and places of departure, arrival or return, carrier and flight numbers for air travel, destination country and address or other contact information therein, means and purpose of travel, and any other itinerary or other travel-related information required by the Attorney General.”

    The International Megan’s Law also added a new criminal offense at 18 U.S.C. § 2250(b) (Failure to register). The new subsection (b) provides that whoever is required to register under SORNA who knowingly fails to provide the above described information required by SORNA relating to intended travel in foreign commerce and who engages or attempts to engage in the intended travel, is subject to a 10 year statutory maximum penalty. Section 2250 offenses are referenced in Appendix A (Statutory Index) to §2A3.5 (Failure to Register as a Sex Offender).

    Part B of the proposed amendment amends Appendix A (Statutory Index) so the new offenses at 18 U.S.C. § 2250(b) are referenced to §2A3.5. The proposed amendment also brackets the possibility of adding a new application note to the Commentary to §2A3.5 providing that for purposes of §2A3.5(b), a defendant shall be deemed to be in a “failure to register status” during the period in which the defendant engaged in conduct described in 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) or (b).

    Finally, Part B makes clerical changes to §2A3.6 (Aggravated Offenses Relating to Registration as Proposed Amendment:

    The Commentary to §2A3.5 captioned “Statutory Provisions” is amended by striking “§ 2250(a)” and inserting “§ 2250(a), (b)”.

    [The Commentary to §2A3.5 captioned “Application Notes” is amended by redesignating Note 2 as Note 3, and by inserting the following new Note 2:

    “2. Application of Subsection (b)(1).—For purposes of subsection (b)(1), a defendant shall be deemed to be in a ‘failure to register status’ during the period in which the defendant engaged in conduct described in 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) or (b).”.]

    Section 2A3.6(a) is amended by striking “§ 2250(c)” and inserting “§ 2250(d)”.
    The Commentary to §2A3.6 captioned “Statutory Provisions” is amended by striking “2250(c)” and inserting “2250(d)”.

    The Commentary to §2A3.6 captioned “Statutory provisions is amended— in Note 1 by striking “Section 2250(c)” and inserting “Section 2250(d)”, and by inserting after “18 U.S.C. § 2250(a)” the following: “or (b)”;

    in Note 3 by striking “§ 2250(c)” and inserting “§ 2250(d)”;

    and in Note 4 by striking “§ 2250(c)” and inserting “§ 2250(d)”.

    Appendix A (Statutory Index) is amended in the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. § 2250(a) by striking “§ 2250(a)” and inserting “§ 2250(a), (b)”; and in the line referenced to 18 U.S.C. § 2250(c) by striking “§ 2250(c)” and inserting “§ 2250(d)”.

    As Yehovah Lives, so should we

  3. Robert Curtis

    The enforcement of the Sex Offender Registration act is punitively
    redundant to that of parole and probation operations. The whole
    system of sex offender registration as it stands is nothing more than
    a form of conntinued parole and probation (how-be-it informal).
    Reason dictates having the whole system of registration under parole
    and probation at time of sentencing. Registration will only continue
    until probation and parole has ended. This would create a built-in
    tiered registry under probation and parole sentencing guidelines.
    This would place the registry within a more controlled context. There
    is a thing called life-time parole that after 20 years they too can as
    part of an individual’s good standing be able to petition for removal
    from parole and registration….otherwise there are still civil
    commitment laws for those deemed most dangerous. For the sake of
    justice the federal government and individual state resources would
    greatly be served by the sex offender registry placed in this type of
    context.

    • Chris F

      I like your points, and it is so much more than being punitively redundant that I am surprised no lawyer has successfully challenged it.

      Registration completely bypasses the already created and more constitutional Probation/Parole system the we already had in place.

      Judges and Probation/Parole under the judges guidance could already demand a threat to society be under restrictions based on their individual threat and level of dangerousness to society. There are methods to appeal anything that is unreasonable, and ways to change conditions as appropriate.

      None of that “Due Process” exists under the S.O. Registration scheme, and how it still exists today is a horrible injustice that only puts more children at risk than helps anyone. The only reasons I can see, are the judges that are elected won’t risk public backlash by upholding the constitution when they can just use any excuse to continue the status quo.

      No judges, politicians, or even that many lawyers will do the right thing when that right thing can’t be fit inside a 160 character Tweet in an explanation to the public. It’s much easier to Tweet “For the sake of the children” even though that is a complete lie and reality is the opposite.

    • Timmr

      After Jacob Wetterling, parole and probation have no meaning. The state can force you at will to regularly report to the police and control your movement, based solely on the legislatures’ self proclaimed legitimate government interest trumping any constitutional protections, and it is supported by the other two branches and cheered on by the fouth estate. What would be worse than that would be the executive determining your life or death based on government interest. Oh, wait, that is practice, also. The president can sentence and kill American citizens with a word, in the interest of public safety, through the drone program, and also send out notices to countries labeling you as a threat based on nothing more than and old conviction, even before the legislature tagged along witg IML. We are in a fledgling autocratic state now. Rules apply at the convenience of the rulers. It’s gone too far. There is no easy way to change it back or make it . It has to be completely overhauled.

    • New Person

      Correct me if I’m mistaken, but didn’t the Michigan courts denote that they didn’t see a difference between parole/probation and registration after parole/probation? Isn’t that one of the examples of registration being punitive?

      The Michigan court decision is really the best laid out decision for registrants as it does incorporate the use of supported empirical research for registrants, reveals the state of Michigan hasn’t done any empirical research for continued use of registration as well as increasing laws against registrants, reveals the difference between the consequences from 2003 to present day, and questions the 2003 decision!

      So I hope the Michigan court decision gains more recognition as well as get pushed up to the SCOTUS. All those examples of how registration can abuse people were dismissed by Justice Roberts as sheer conjecture. Well, the Michigan court decisions has disproved Justice Roberts and all those in support of registration. Public safety needs empirical support, not fear mongering – which is why I like the Michigan court decision. So far, no state has done such research at all, but rather continue to pass law after law after law – based upon the false facts of “frightening and high” recidivism rates.

      Boom. Thank you professors Ellman! (I think that’s them that wrote that piece discovering the falsehood of “frightening and high”.)

  4. kari

    Hi Group,

    I have about 35 people ready to write and email the United States Sentencing Commission. This is mainly for Joe123. I am wondering what you emailed to the sentencing commission. My church is ready to fill up there inbox. But little help and direction, to stop this madness. (Group any thoughts)
    Together we stand to stop any laws that come our way.
    My quick story, I do not register in the state I currently live in. The state I came from has me on the registry. The state I live in now will not fill out any paperwork regarding a 21 day notice. They do not even require people who have an obligation to register to do so. So I am in a real pickle…

    Thank you

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