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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134304 Find in a Library
Title: Federal Sentencing Guidelines: Miracle Cure for Sentencing Disparity (Caution: Apply Only as Directed)
Journal: Kentucky Law Journal  Volume:79  Issue:2  Dated:(1990-1991)  Pages:385-414
Author(s): K A Walton
Date Published: 1991
Page Count: 30
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This analysis of the application of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines that took effect in November 1987 concludes that although the guidelines are incomplete, their careful application based on a conscious regard of congressional objectives makes them the beginning of a fair and efficient Federal sentencing guidelines.
Abstract: Congress's main goals in authorizing the development of the guidelines were honesty, uniformity, and proportionality. Honesty has been achieved, because all sentences are now determinate. However, uniformity and proportionality are interrelated and inherently antagonistic; thus, they cannot both be unequivocally attained. In addition, the United States Sentencing Commission gave the courts unlimited power to depart from the guidelines. However, the Commission can amend the guidelines annually and needs to limit the departure provisions and thereby retain limits on judicial discretion. Case examples and footnotes (Author summary modified)
Main Term(s): Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Judicial discretion; Sentencing disparity
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