Former U.S. District Judge Resigned From San Diego Bench to Protest Federal Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Guidelines – How an Experienced Southern California Criminal Defense Firm Can Help You

By: Wallin & Klarich

In 1990, U.S. District Judge Lawrence Irving resigned from his San Diego Bench to protest Congress’ decision to pass mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines that removed judges’ discretion to impose sentences. Irving considered his position to be his “dream job,” but found the federal mandatory sentencing guidelines “unconscionable.”

The case behind his decision to resign stemmed from an enormous drug cartel prosecution in which he deemed many of the 98 defendants to be young and only peripherally involved in the conspiracy. However, new federal guidelines would have mandated five-year prison sentences for all of the defendants. Irving did not think the mandatory federal guidelines were a fair way to determine sentencing, especially considering the different circumstances associated with every defendant in each case. His resignation ignited a series of resignations by other judges around the country who had similar concerns.

If you or a loved one is accused of a crime, it is important that you call an experienced attorney at Wallin & Klarich immediately. Our attorneys have the skill and expertise to provide you with the best possible defense. The experienced Los Angeles defense attorneys at Wallin & Klarich have over 30 years of experience handling all types of cases in California. We know what to look for and we have the knowledge to get to the heart of the matter. Our attorneys can be reached by phone at 1-888-280-6839 or through our website at We will be there when you call.

Posted In: Criminal Defense