Federal Judge Paul Cassell of Salt Lake City, a critic of federal sentencing guidelines, has resigned at 47 years old to return to law teaching at the University of Utah, reports the Deseret News. Cassell will pursue research on crime victims’ rights, but cited dismal judicial pay as a secondary reason.
Cassell looks forward to moving from a “referee’s role to an advocate’s role,” when it comes to crime victims’ rights. “We’re at a pivotal point in our country’s history in determining how we’re going to move from a two-party, state-versus-defendant model to a three-party model that recognizes the legitimate interests of victims.” In 2004, Cassell became the first U.S. judge to hold the federal sentencing guidelines were unconstitutional. On victim’s rights, Cassell cited many issues that need exploring, including te privacy of rape records, questions of a crime victim’s role in the criminal process and their right to make statements at sentencing. Cassell also accepted a position with the National Crime Victims Law Institute to litigate crime victims’ cases across the country.