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I shall talk about an area of the law of great significance to any society’s measure of justice, criminal sentencing. I call my remarks “Weinstein on Sentencing.” Has Judge Weinstein over the course of decades fundamentally changed the contours of law and practice in this area? I think he would say “not enough.” But that’s not for lack of trying. In addition to many law review articles and speeches, he has written scores of sentencing opinions that exceed the standards of the most exacting academic—thorough, analytically impregnable, and heavily footnoted—attempting to get the Second Circuit, the Supreme Court, and Congress to remake sentencing law. He has not waged these battles alone—but more than any judge I can think of, he has waged them continually and on every front, with powerful intelligence and humanity. In these ways he is one of the creators of today’s new sentencing landscape, in which judges are allowed to consider not just what the Sentencing Commission proclaims, but what justice requires.
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