Document Type


Publication Title

Federal Sentencing Reporter

Publication Date




First Page





On January 2, 2013, I testified as an expert witness at a sentencing hearing in federal district court. It was my first time being qualified as an expert, and my only time testifying in court in any capacity. A couple of months earlier, I had been contacted by an Assistant Federal Public Defender (AFPD) who asked if I’d be interested in being retained as an expert. She was handling the sentencing of a man convicted of child pornography possession, receipt, and transportation, and had read my work criticizing the development of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines provisions for these offenses. Rather than merely making her usual arguments in a sentencing memorandum, or having an expert submit a report, the AFPD thought that she would have a better chance of making an impression on the sentencing judge with a live expert witness. I was excited about the opportunity to move my academic work into the courtroom, so I happily accepted her offer.


Federal Sentencing Reporter article link:

© 2014 Vera Institute of Justice.



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