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At a recent meeting of the National Association of Sentencing Commissions, Yale professor Dan Freed was honored during a panel discussion titled "Standing on the Shoulders of Sentencing Giants," Dan Freed is indeed a sentencing giant. but he is the gentlest giant of all. It is hard to imagine that a man as mild-mannered, soft-spoken, and self-effacing as Dan Freed has had such a profound impact on federal sentencing law and so many other areas of criminal justice policy, Yet he has.

I've been in many rooms with Dan Freed over the years — classrooms, boardrooms, dining rooms, and others. Dan is usually a light and gentle participant, even in discussions he is leading. Yet time and again, he silences the gathering with his rare ability to synthesize arguments, convey important thoughts persuasively, and, above all, ask the right questions.