Possible Formation of Tribal Issues Advisory Group, 49380-49381 [2014-19765]

Download as PDF 49380 Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 161 / Wednesday, August 20, 2014 / Notices and policy statements are necessary. This notice sets forth technical and conforming amendments to commentary and policy statements that will become effective on November 1, 2014. UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Sentencing Guidelines for United States Courts United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION: Notice of final action regarding technical and conforming amendments to federal sentencing guidelines effective November 1, 2014. AGENCY: On April 30, 2014, the Commission submitted to the Congress amendments to the sentencing guidelines and official commentary, which become effective on November 1, 2014, unless Congress acts to the contrary. Such amendments and the reasons for amendment subsequently were published in the Federal Register. 79 FR 25996 (May 6, 2014). The Commission has made technical and conforming amendments, set forth in this notice, to commentary provisions and policy statements related to those amendments. SUMMARY: The Commission has specified an effective date of November 1, 2014, for the amendments set forth in this notice. DATES: emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeanne Doherty, Public Affairs Officer, (202) 502–4502, jdoherty@ussc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Sentencing Commission, an independent commission in the judicial branch of the United States government, is authorized by 28 U.S.C. 994(a) to promulgate sentencing guidelines and policy statements for federal courts. Section 994 also directs the Commission to review and revise periodically promulgated guidelines and authorizes it to submit guideline amendments to Congress not later than the first day of May each year. See 28 U.S.C. 994(o), (p). Absent an affirmative disapproval by Congress within 180 days after the Commission submits its amendments, the amendments become effective on the date specified by the Commission (typically November 1 of the same calendar year). See 28 U.S.C. 994(p). Unlike amendments made to sentencing guidelines, amendments to commentary and policy statements may be made at any time and are not subject to congressional review. To the extent practicable, the Commission endeavors to include amendments to commentary and policy statements in any submission of guideline amendments to Congress. Occasionally, however, the Commission determines that technical and conforming changes to commentary VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:44 Aug 19, 2014 Jkt 232001 Authority: USSC Rules of Practice and Procedure 4.1. Patti B. Saris, Chair. 1. Amendment: Chapter One, Part A, Subpart 2 (Continuing Evolution and Role of the Guidelines) is amended by striking ‘‘127 S. Ct. 2456’’ and inserting ‘‘551 U.S. 338’’; by striking ‘‘2463’’ and inserting ‘‘347–48’’; by striking ‘‘wholesale,’ id.,’’ and inserting ‘‘wholesale[,]’ id. at 348’’; by striking ‘‘2464’’ and inserting ‘‘350’’; by striking ‘‘127 S. Ct. at 2465’’ both places such term appears and inserting ‘‘551 U.S. at 351’’; by striking ‘‘128 S. Ct. 586, 596’’ and inserting ‘‘552 U.S. 38, 49’’; by striking ‘‘128 S. Ct. at 597’’ and inserting ‘‘552 U.S. at 51’’; by striking ‘‘Id. at 2464’’ and inserting ‘‘Rita, 551 U.S. at 350’’; by striking ‘‘128 S. Ct. at 594’’ and inserting ‘‘552 U.S. at 46’’; by striking ‘‘128 S. Ct. 558’’ and inserting ‘‘552 U.S. 85’’; and by striking ‘‘571’’ and inserting ‘‘103’’. The Commentary to § 1B1.1 captioned ‘‘Background’’ is amended by striking ‘‘128 S. Ct. 2198, 2200–03’’ and inserting ‘‘553 U.S. 708, 709–16’’. The Commentary to § 1B1.10 captioned ‘‘Background’’ is amended by striking ‘‘130 S. Ct. 2683’’ and inserting ‘‘560 U.S. 817’’. The Commentary to § 2M3.1 captioned ‘‘Application Notes’’ is amended by striking ‘‘50 U.S.C. § 435 note’’ and inserting ‘‘50 U.S.C. § 3161 note’’. The Commentary to § 5G1.3 captioned ‘‘Application Notes’’ is amended in Note 2(A) by striking ‘‘subsection (c)’’ and inserting ‘‘subsection (d)’’. Reason for Amendment: This proposed amendment makes certain technical changes to the Introduction and the Commentary in the Guidelines Manual. First, the proposed amendment makes clerical changes to provide U.S. Reports citations for certain Supreme Court cases. The changes are made to— (1) Subpart 2 of Part A of Chapter One (Introduction, Authority, and General Application Principles); (2) the Background Commentary to § 1B1.1 (Application Instructions); and (3) the Background Commentary to § 1B1.10 (Reduction in Term of Imprisonment as a Result of Amended Guideline Range (Policy Statement)). Second, the proposed amendment makes a clerical change to Application PO 00000 Frm 00102 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 Note 1 to § 2M3.1 (Gathering or Transmitting National Defense Information to Aid a Foreign Government) to reflect the editorial reclassification of a section in the United States Code. Finally, the proposed amendment makes a technical and conforming change to Application Note 2(A) to § 5G1.3 (Imposition of a Sentence on a Defendant Subject to an Undischarged Term of Imprisonment) to reflect that subsection (c) was redesignated as subsection (d) by Amendment 8 of the amendments submitted by the Commission to Congress on April 30, 2014, 79 FR 25996 (May 6, 2014). [FR Doc. 2014–19764 Filed 8–19–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 2210–40–P UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION Possible Formation of Tribal Issues Advisory Group United States Sentencing Commission. ACTION: Request for public comment on possible formation of Tribal Issues Advisory Group. AGENCY: The Commission is interested in forming a new Tribal Issues Advisory Group, on an ad hoc or continuing basis, or establishing other means to study issues that have been raised in recent years related to the operation of the federal sentencing guidelines in Indian Country and areas that have significant American Indian population. Therefore, the Commission hereby requests comment on the merits of forming such a group, including comment on the scope, duration, and potential membership of any such advisory group. SUMMARY: Public comment should be received on or before October 20, 2014. ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to the Commission by electronic mail or regular mail. The email address is pubaffairs@ussc.gov. The regular mail address is United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle NE., Suite 2–500, South Lobby, Washington, DC 20002–8002, Attention: Public Affairs—Tribal Issues Comment. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeanne Doherty, Public Affairs Officer, 202–502–4502, jdoherty@ussc.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent agency in the judicial branch of the United States Government. The Commission promulgates sentencing guidelines and DATES: E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1 emcdonald on DSK67QTVN1PROD with NOTICES Federal Register / Vol. 79, No. 161 / Wednesday, August 20, 2014 / Notices policy statements for federal sentencing courts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(a). The Commission also periodically reviews and revises previously promulgated guidelines pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(o) and submits guideline amendments to the Congress not later than the first day of May each year pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(p). Under 28 U.S.C. 995 and Rule 5.4 of the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure, the Commission may create standing or ad hoc advisory groups to facilitate formal and informal input to the Commission. Upon creating an advisory group, the Commission may prescribe the policies regarding the purpose, membership, and operation of the group as the Commission deems necessary or appropriate. In 2002, the Commission established the Native American Advisory Group (NAAG) with the purpose of considering ‘‘any viable methods to improve the operation of the federal sentencing guidelines in their application to Native Americans under the Major Crimes Act.’’ The NAAG was convened as an ad hoc group tasked with writing an interim and a final report. The membership of the advisory group was diverse in terms of geography, tribal affiliation, and professional background, and included federal judges, Assistant United States Attorneys, a United States Probation Officer, an Assistant Federal Public Defender, a Victim/Witness specialist, private legal practitioners, academics, and representatives from the Department of Justice, the Department of Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the United States Commission on Civil Rights, and the National Indian Gaming Commission. The Final Report issued by the group in 2003 made specific recommendations on offenses that had a significant percentage of American Indian offenders (manslaughter, sexual abuse, aggravated assault, and the use of alcohol as an aggravating factor), and it encouraged the Commission to continue tribal involvement in the development of federal sentencing policy. (The 2003 Report of the NAAG may be accessed through the Commission’s Web site at www.ussc.gov.) For the Commission’s amendments in response to this report, see USSG App. C, Amends. 652, 663. Since the NAAG issued its final report, new issues and concerns have arisen involving American Indian VerDate Mar<15>2010 16:44 Aug 19, 2014 Jkt 232001 defendants and victims, and there have been important changes in tribal criminal jurisdiction. For example, in 2010, the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111–211) was enacted to address high rates of violent crime in Indian Country by improving criminal justice funding and infrastructure in tribal government, and expanding the sentencing authority of tribal court systems. In 2013, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (Pub. L. 113–4) was enacted to expand the criminal jurisdiction of tribes to prosecute, sentence, and convict Indians and non-Indians who assault Indian spouses or dating partners or violate a protection order in Indian Country. It also established new assault offenses and enhanced existing assault offenses. Both Acts increased criminal jurisdiction for tribal courts, but also required more robust court procedures and provided more procedural protections for defendants. For the Commission’s response to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, see Amendment 2 of the amendments submitted to Congress on April 30, 2014, 79 FR 25996 (May 6, 2014). Furthermore, in 2009 and 2010, the Commission held a series of regional public hearings regarding federal sentencing policy to coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Sentencing Reform Act. At regional hearings in Denver and Phoenix, the Commission heard testimony on Indian Country issues. The testimony expressed concern about the perception in tribal communities that American Indian offenders prosecuted federally receive more severe sentences than other offenders prosecuted at the state level, the disparity in the application of the federal sentencing guidelines on American Indians in Indian Country, and how tribal court convictions are taken into account for purposes of sentencing and risk assessment, among other uses. More recently, the Commission received written submissions and testimony during the public comment period and public hearings on the amendments in response to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, that expressed the same concerns heard in the testimony at the regional hearings, but also addressed additional PO 00000 Frm 00103 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 9990 49381 matters for consideration, such as ensuring accountability for Indian and non-Indian offenders who victimize American Indians, the need to better acknowledge tribal court protection orders in the guidelines, and the importance of consultation with tribal communities on sentencing issues that affect them. (The testimony and written submissions are available through the Commission’s Web site at www.ussc.gov.) In 2014, the Commission received a letter from the United States Attorneys who make up the Native American Issues Subcommittee and the Racial Disparities Working Group of the Attorney General’s Advisory Group at the Department of Justice. (The letter is available through the Commission’s Web site at www.ussc.gov.) The letter urged the Commission to consider ‘‘forming a new American Indian Sentencing Advisory Group to study whether American Indian defendants in federal court face disparities in sentencing.’’ It noted that since the NAAG Report of 2003, the issue of potential sentencing disparities has remained a subject of great debate, citing academic research and concerns heard from tribal leaders and members of the Federal Judiciary. The letter also explained that because the NAAG’s work was completed prior to the United States Supreme Court decision in United States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), further review is appropriate. In light of this, the Commission is considering whether to form a new Tribal Issues Advisory Group, on an ad hoc or continuing basis, or establishing other means to study the issues that have been raised in recent years. Therefore, the Commission hereby requests comment on the merits of forming such a group, including comment on the scope, duration, and potential membership of any such advisory group. Public comment should be sent to the Commission as indicated in the ADDRESSES section above. Authority: 28 U.S.C. 994(a), (o), (p), 995; USSC Rules of Practice and Procedure 5.2, 5.4. Patti B. Saris, Chair. [FR Doc. 2014–19765 Filed 8–19–14; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 2210–40–P E:\FR\FM\20AUN1.SGM 20AUN1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 161 (Wednesday, August 20, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 49380-49381]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-19765]


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UNITED STATES SENTENCING COMMISSION


Possible Formation of Tribal Issues Advisory Group

AGENCY: United States Sentencing Commission.

ACTION: Request for public comment on possible formation of Tribal 
Issues Advisory Group.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Commission is interested in forming a new Tribal Issues 
Advisory Group, on an ad hoc or continuing basis, or establishing other 
means to study issues that have been raised in recent years related to 
the operation of the federal sentencing guidelines in Indian Country 
and areas that have significant American Indian population. Therefore, 
the Commission hereby requests comment on the merits of forming such a 
group, including comment on the scope, duration, and potential 
membership of any such advisory group.

DATES: Public comment should be received on or before October 20, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Comments should be sent to the Commission by electronic mail 
or regular mail. The email address is pubaffairs@ussc.gov. The regular 
mail address is United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus 
Circle NE., Suite 2-500, South Lobby, Washington, DC 20002-8002, 
Attention: Public Affairs--Tribal Issues Comment.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Jeanne Doherty, Public Affairs 
Officer, 202-502-4502, jdoherty@ussc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The United States Sentencing Commission is 
an independent agency in the judicial branch of the United States 
Government. The Commission promulgates sentencing guidelines and

[[Page 49381]]

policy statements for federal sentencing courts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 
994(a). The Commission also periodically reviews and revises previously 
promulgated guidelines pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(o) and submits 
guideline amendments to the Congress not later than the first day of 
May each year pursuant to 28 U.S.C. 994(p). Under 28 U.S.C. 995 and 
Rule 5.4 of the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, the 
Commission may create standing or ad hoc advisory groups to facilitate 
formal and informal input to the Commission. Upon creating an advisory 
group, the Commission may prescribe the policies regarding the purpose, 
membership, and operation of the group as the Commission deems 
necessary or appropriate.
    In 2002, the Commission established the Native American Advisory 
Group (NAAG) with the purpose of considering ``any viable methods to 
improve the operation of the federal sentencing guidelines in their 
application to Native Americans under the Major Crimes Act.'' The NAAG 
was convened as an ad hoc group tasked with writing an interim and a 
final report. The membership of the advisory group was diverse in terms 
of geography, tribal affiliation, and professional background, and 
included federal judges, Assistant United States Attorneys, a United 
States Probation Officer, an Assistant Federal Public Defender, a 
Victim/Witness specialist, private legal practitioners, academics, and 
representatives from the Department of Justice, the Department of 
Interior, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the United States Commission on 
Civil Rights, and the National Indian Gaming Commission.
    The Final Report issued by the group in 2003 made specific 
recommendations on offenses that had a significant percentage of 
American Indian offenders (manslaughter, sexual abuse, aggravated 
assault, and the use of alcohol as an aggravating factor), and it 
encouraged the Commission to continue tribal involvement in the 
development of federal sentencing policy. (The 2003 Report of the NAAG 
may be accessed through the Commission's Web site at www.ussc.gov.) For 
the Commission's amendments in response to this report, see USSG App. 
C, Amends. 652, 663.
    Since the NAAG issued its final report, new issues and concerns 
have arisen involving American Indian defendants and victims, and there 
have been important changes in tribal criminal jurisdiction. For 
example, in 2010, the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 (Pub. L. 111-
211) was enacted to address high rates of violent crime in Indian 
Country by improving criminal justice funding and infrastructure in 
tribal government, and expanding the sentencing authority of tribal 
court systems. In 2013, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act 
of 2013 (Pub. L. 113-4) was enacted to expand the criminal jurisdiction 
of tribes to prosecute, sentence, and convict Indians and non-Indians 
who assault Indian spouses or dating partners or violate a protection 
order in Indian Country. It also established new assault offenses and 
enhanced existing assault offenses. Both Acts increased criminal 
jurisdiction for tribal courts, but also required more robust court 
procedures and provided more procedural protections for defendants. For 
the Commission's response to the Violence Against Women Reauthorization 
Act of 2013, see Amendment 2 of the amendments submitted to Congress on 
April 30, 2014, 79 FR 25996 (May 6, 2014).
    Furthermore, in 2009 and 2010, the Commission held a series of 
regional public hearings regarding federal sentencing policy to 
coincide with the 25th anniversary of the Sentencing Reform Act. At 
regional hearings in Denver and Phoenix, the Commission heard testimony 
on Indian Country issues. The testimony expressed concern about the 
perception in tribal communities that American Indian offenders 
prosecuted federally receive more severe sentences than other offenders 
prosecuted at the state level, the disparity in the application of the 
federal sentencing guidelines on American Indians in Indian Country, 
and how tribal court convictions are taken into account for purposes of 
sentencing and risk assessment, among other uses. More recently, the 
Commission received written submissions and testimony during the public 
comment period and public hearings on the amendments in response to the 
Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, that expressed the 
same concerns heard in the testimony at the regional hearings, but also 
addressed additional matters for consideration, such as ensuring 
accountability for Indian and non-Indian offenders who victimize 
American Indians, the need to better acknowledge tribal court 
protection orders in the guidelines, and the importance of consultation 
with tribal communities on sentencing issues that affect them. (The 
testimony and written submissions are available through the 
Commission's Web site at www.ussc.gov.)
    In 2014, the Commission received a letter from the United States 
Attorneys who make up the Native American Issues Subcommittee and the 
Racial Disparities Working Group of the Attorney General's Advisory 
Group at the Department of Justice. (The letter is available through 
the Commission's Web site at www.ussc.gov.) The letter urged the 
Commission to consider ``forming a new American Indian Sentencing 
Advisory Group to study whether American Indian defendants in federal 
court face disparities in sentencing.'' It noted that since the NAAG 
Report of 2003, the issue of potential sentencing disparities has 
remained a subject of great debate, citing academic research and 
concerns heard from tribal leaders and members of the Federal 
Judiciary. The letter also explained that because the NAAG's work was 
completed prior to the United States Supreme Court decision in United 
States v. Booker, 543 U.S. 220 (2005), further review is appropriate.
    In light of this, the Commission is considering whether to form a 
new Tribal Issues Advisory Group, on an ad hoc or continuing basis, or 
establishing other means to study the issues that have been raised in 
recent years. Therefore, the Commission hereby requests comment on the 
merits of forming such a group, including comment on the scope, 
duration, and potential membership of any such advisory group.
    Public comment should be sent to the Commission as indicated in the 
ADDRESSES section above.

    Authority: 28 U.S.C. 994(a), (o), (p), 995; USSC Rules of 
Practice and Procedure 5.2, 5.4.

Patti B. Saris,
Chair.
[FR Doc. 2014-19765 Filed 8-19-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 2210-40-P