OPPOSING IMPLEMENTATION OF NEW FEDERAL SENTENCING PROCEDURES

WHEREAS, the Board of Judges for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has proposed significant changes in the manner and timing of preparation of presentence reports;

WHEREAS, the proposed change will result in depriving counsel for the defense and the Government of the opportunity to object to errors and omissions before the presentation of the report to the Sentencing Court;

WHEREAS, the proposed changes will negatively impact on the ability of defense counsel to represent their clients effectively;

WHEREAS, the proposed changes reduce the time provided for counsel to submit objections to the presentence report as prepared, making it difficult if not impossible to comply with the time limit, particularly in the case of custody and out-of-town clients;

WHEREAS, the time limits fail to take into consideration delays incurred by the post office, as well as weekends and holidays;

WHEREAS, on their face, these changes may require disclosure of sensitive and/or privileged information in the possession of the Government, and may violate F.R.Crim.P. 6(e);

WHEREAS, these changes will not expedite sentencings and may in fact require more judicial time than is now required to resolve sentencing disputes;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Philadelphia Bar Association opposes the implementation of the proposed procedure for sentencing, and requests that the Board of Judges of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania that it conduct further consideration of the procedure, with participation by the Federal Bar Criminal Law Committee, the Criminal Justice Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association, the Federal Defender Association, the United States Attorney's Office, and other appropriate interested parties.

PHILADELPHIA BAR ASSOCIATION
BOARD OF GOVERNORS
ADOPTED: May 28, 1992