Judge for Themselves

Why a Supreme Court ruling on sentencing guidelines puts more power back on the bench

Freddie Booker was already in trouble when he entered a federal courtroom in Madison, Wis., two years ago for a sentencing hearing. A jury had found Booker, 51, guilty of possessing 3 oz. of crack cocaine, with the intention to distribute, which meant he was facing at least 10 years in prison. But when prosecutors informed the judge that Booker had told cops after his arrest that he had previously sold more than a pound of crack, his situation quickly went from bad to worse. Because of that evidence, which was never presented to the jury, the judge had little choice...

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