Dallas DA Addresses Federal Sentencing Panel

Thursday, Nov 19, 2009  |  Updated 2:15 PM CDT
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Dallas DA Addresses Federal Sentencing Panel

NBCDFW.com

Dallas District Attorney Craig Watkins.

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Dallas County District Attorney Craig Watkins has told a federal sentencing commission that the goal of incarceration should be rehabilitation, not just punishment.

Watkins also told the U.S. Sentencing Commission that in the nearly three years he's been district attorney, he's worked to implement "smart justice." He said that means programs for youthful first-time offenders who can work toward getting their charges dismissed or a fast-tracking into state jails for repeat low-level offenders.

The sentencing panel meeting Thursday in Austin is reviewing federal sentencing policy.

Three federal judges also addressed the panel. One said she believes federal sentencing guidelines are often too harsh for possession of child pornography when there's no prospect for the defendant to actually harm a child.

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