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NCJ Number: 140278 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Rights in Conflict: Fairness Issues in the Federal Sentencing Guidelines (From United States Sentencing Commission Reprint Series, V I, June 1992, P 239-250 -- See NCJ-140271)
Author(s): H G Corrothers
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 12
Sponsoring Agency: US Sentencing Cmssn
Washington, DC 20002
Sale Source: US Sentencing Cmssn
1 Columbus Circle, NE
Suite 2-500, South Lobby
Washington, DC 20002
United States of America
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the goals and work of the U.S. Sentencing Commission, with attention to the issue of fairness.
Abstract: Prior to the guidelines, a defendant's sentence was often determined more by which Federal court or which judge in a Federal court was assigned the case than by the facts of the case. Some judges were notorious for rendering especially harsh or lenient sentences in certain kinds of cases or to certain kinds of defendants. The guidelines intend to bring more uniformity and proportionality to Federal sentencing, but they do not eliminate the tensions between a convicted defendant's interests and those of society as a whole in the sentencing process. A sentencing system that would be perfectly proportional and tailored to fit the details of each case would be unworkable and would seriously compromise society's need for certainty of punishment and its deterrent effect. The guidelines now in effect are not perfect for the achievement of the U.S. Sentencing Commission's intent; rather, they are evolutionary. As the commission monitors practices under the initial set of guidelines, receives input, and conducts research, it will make revisions to increase the fairness of the guidelines. Sentencing will be more rational, the rules will be clearer, and the process will be public. 33 footnotes
Main Term(s): Rights of the accused; Sentencing guidelines
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Sentencing commissions; Sentencing factors
Note: Reprinted from Criminal Law Bulletin 26(1):38-49 (1990)
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