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Defense Bar Split On Sentencing Bill

Publication Date: 
March 13, 2007
The Recorder
Millie Lapidario

Professor Jeffrey Fisher is mentioned as an expert in constitutional law in this article about a bill by State Senator Gloria Romero to leave it up to the judges whether a lighter or a heavier sentence should be imposed. This proposal has some defense attorneys supporting it and others not supporting it. The paper reported:

Jeffrey Fisher, a professor at Stanford Law School whose expertise includes constitutional law, has studied what other states have done in changing their sentencing laws following earlier U.S. Supreme Court decisions. Of the nine state legislatures that have enacted sentencing changes, seven went with the bifurcated system.

Fisher planned to attend today's hearing, but said he wouldn't be advocating for either position.

He said giving discretion to a judge rather than a jury may prove problematic. "My primary concern," he said, "is that from a legal perspective, it sounds like the fix they're proposing may not be constitutional ... and just might generate more litigation."