Author Archive


Judge Nancy Gertner was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the U.S.District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Her nomination was strongly supported by the late Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. She served until 2011, during which time she issued numerous opinions on sentencing issues and was widely published in the area. She currently is a senior lecturer on law at ...


The U.S. Supreme Court will soon decide whether to review a case involving sentencing of Vincent Asaro, a long-time capo for the Bonanno crime family. Federal sentencing and prison experts Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh say if the court ultimately finds the presumption of innocence precludes not just the use of acquitted conduct, but of uncharged and acquitted conduct, it ...


By Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh (February 18, 2020) President Donald Trump recently voiced his ire, via Twitter, about the government’s recommendation to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson that Roger Stone be sentenced according to the U.S. sentencing guidelines advisory sentencing range of 87 to 108 months (a little more than seven to nine years). The president called such a recommendation ...


Published on January 9, 2020, “The First Step Act – Earned Time Credits on the Horizon” is the fourth article in a series by Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh and Nellie Klein. The article reviews the new PATTERN risk assessment tool currently being rolled out by the BOP as part of the First Step Act’s recidivism reduction efforts. PATTERN is intended ...


In this article published by Law360, Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh discuss the issues around sentencing judges, and not juries, considering uncharged, dismissed and even acquitted conduct for purposes of enhancing a defendant's sentence. Click to read the article.


With increasing frequency, attorneys are seeing clients, particularly in child pornography cases, who suffer from autism. There is a new Bureau of Prisons program for young autistic offenders called The Skills Program. Click to read the article.


This article which was the follow up to an article that I wrote for Federal Lawyer magazine in September 2017, is the first of a series of articles on judges’ views on effective sentencing advocacy. Click to read the article.


In 1977, the United States entered into its first prisoner transfer treaty with a foreign country — Mexico. Under this treaty, Mexicans arrested and imprisoned in the United States could be eligible for transfer to their home country in order to serve out their sentences there. Similarly, Americans arrested in Mexico were eligible to apply to have the remainder of ...


Federal sentencing and prison experts Alan Ellis, Mark Allenbaugh, and Nellie Torres Klein continue their look at the First Step Act of 2018, a new bipartisan federal prison reform law. In Part 3 of this three-part series, they examine the pilot program offering early release and expanded home confinement to elderly and terminally ill prisoners.


Bloomberg Law Insights published an article by Alan Ellis and Mark Allenbaugh titled, "Manafort’s Sentencings—A Clarion Call to Re-Calibrate U.S. Sentencing Guidelines." In their article, Ellis and Allenbaugh discuss why Paul Manafort's two sentences illustrate the fact that federal ...

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