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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 126177 Find in a Library
Title: Drug Case Sentencing Under the Federal Guidelines: Impressions From the Field
Author(s): S L Weber
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 354
Type: Survey
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The decisions made by prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, and judges in response to the drug sentencing guidelines enacted by Congress in 1987 were examined using data gathered from official records and interviews with criminal justice officials in the District of Columbia, Newark, New Jersey, and the Southern District of New York.
Abstract: Findings showed that most judges accepted the system of guidelines, although they had some specific complaints. In addition, defense attorneys did not object to the guidelines themselves, but they were concerned about the application of mitigating circumstances under the guidelines and about the increased power the guidelines give to probation agencies. The analysis concluded that defendants should not be given reduced sentences merely for pleading guilty; instead, a sliding scale should be used, based on the timing of the guilty plea. Other recommendations include recognizing the good-faith efforts of street-level drug dealers to provide information to the prosecution in return for a reduced sentence, providing in-house counsel to probation departments to clarify the legal and financial aspects of pre-sentence reports, and adding stipulations related to addicts and youthful offenders. Appended tables and other excerpts from sentencing guidelines, forms, and chapter notes
Main Term(s): Sentencing guidelines
Index Term(s): District of Columbia; Drug law enforcement; New Jersey; New York
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