1. Variances. Since Booker was decided, prosecutors still have mechanistically asked for guideline sentences. This was the mandate from the top -- the guidelines were always reasonable even though the Supreme Court made clear that this was not the case. In fact, the 11th Circuit has said again and again that there is no presumption that a guideline sentence was reasonable. No matter, prosecutors went in and always asked for a guideline sentence. Our district judges started complaining, and Ferrer and Greenberg said that their prosecutors will not simply ask for a guideline sentence in every case as that is unhelpful to the court.
2. Indictments and Plea Agreements. There have been a series of memos (from Thornburgh to Ashroft to Gonzalez) requiring that prosecutors charge defendants with the most serious charge they could bring (including 851 enhancements, etc) and requiring prosecutors to offer plea plea agreements only to the most serious charge in an indictment. The new Holder memo has changed all of that, and Ferrer & Greenberg said that they will make sure that the Holder memo gets implemented in their office ASAP. Although no specifics were really offered as the Holder memo is relatively new, they are studying how to make sure that there is "horizontal equity" (their term) and fairness.
3. Discovery. There are new memos on discovery obligations (including Brady/Giglio) as well. Ferrer & Greenberg said that all prosecutors are undergoing training to learn about these memos and their discovery obligations in general. Although many line prosecutors are still telling the defense bar that they are only required to disclose what is required under Rule 16, Ferrer & Greenberg assured the CJA lawyers that this was going to change under their watch.