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August 22, 2018

What theories of punishment will be (and should be) paramount in the upcoming sentencings for Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort?

We have not yet even had our second class and there are real-world developments that we can and should work into our discussions.  Specifically, as you likely heard, Michael Cohen pleaded guilty to multiple federal felonies in New York yesterday (a few details here), and Paul Manafort was found guilty by a jury of multiple federal felonies in DC yesterday (a few details here).  Though a white-collar crime course is needed to understand the ins and outs of their prosecution, your readings this week should already given you an ability to understand and critically assess the federal sentencing law's reference to classic theories of punishment.

Specifically, US Code, Title 18, Section 3553(a) sets forth a detailed list of "Factors To Be Considered in Imposing a Sentence" for federal judges, and in class we may talk about about the different punishment theories referenced in various ways in subsection (a)(2) of 18 USC 3553.  I do expect to talk in class about how you think these factors ought to be applied to Cohen and Manafort, but I would welcome commentary on this question in the comments to this post or on my main blog.

August 22, 2018 in Notable real cases | Permalink

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