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NCJ Number: 126896 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing Commission, P.M. (Post-Mistretta): Sunshine or Sunset?
Journal: American Criminal Law Review  Volume:27  Issue:2  Dated:(1989)  Pages:289-329
Author(s): J S Parker; M K Block
Date Published: 1989
Page Count: 41
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The United States Sentencing Commission is at a critical juncture in its history and should therefore re-examine its statutory mandate and recognize the overarching objective of efficiency in punishment.
Abstract: In the United States Supreme Court's 1989 decision in Mistretta v. United States, the Commission survived constitutional challenges based on the doctrines of nondelegation and separation of powers. In the year since the decision, the Commission appears to have become preoccupied with the implementation of its initial sentencing guidelines instead of focusing on the ultimate goal of improving the basic efficiency of the sentencing system. The Commission's current stance may result in part from the early success of the guidelines. However, those guidelines were intended as only the first step in an evolutionary process toward a more rational and effective sentencing system. The Commission now seems reluctant to take the next step by focusing on what makes punishment effective and how effectiveness can be measured. In fact, the Commission's recent pronouncements indicate that it is overlooking the need to take the next step. Therefore, the Commission needs to return its focus to its basic mandate and overall goal. 217 footnotes
Main Term(s): US Sentencing Commission
Index Term(s): Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform
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