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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 121137 Find in a Library
Title: U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and Police Officer Discretion (From U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: Implications for Criminal Justice, P 21-31, 1989, Dean J. Champion, ed. -- See NCJ-121135)
Author(s): W C Terry III
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: Praeger Publishers
Westport, CT 06881
Sale Source: Praeger Publishers
88 Post Road West
Westport, CT 06881
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Given the current state of disagreement over the constitutionality of sentencing guidelines, especially at the Federal level, they apparently have had little effect on Federal law enforcement officers.
Abstract: Moreover, sentencing processes in general are too far removed organizationally from the daily work of police officers to have much effect. Nevertheless, there are some similarities between judicial and police behavior and decisionmaking worthy of note. Both judges and police officers are forced to act upon information provided them. They decide which actions to take based upon this information and upon prior experience in similar or related matters. Also, they share accusations of exercising unwarranted discretion whereby sentencing disparities and inequities are incurred by offenders. Both are subject to efforts to limit the degree of these disparities and alleged inequities. Neither guidelines to limit judicial discretion nor police discretion are designed to eliminate discretion, but rather to provide greater uniformity in official decisionmaking. 7 notes.
Main Term(s): Police discretion; Sentencing guidelines
Index Term(s): Federal Code; Sentencing commissions; Sentencing reform
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