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NCJ Number: 156492 Find in a Library
Title: U.S. Sentencing Guidelines: Their Impact on Federal Drug Offenders
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:64  Issue:5  Dated:(May 1995)  Pages:17-21
Author(s): G D Lee
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 5
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
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Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
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NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
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United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains the changes to sentencing guidelines made by the US Sentencing Commission and how those changes affect enforcement of Federal drug laws.
Abstract: Sentencing guidelines, in conjunction with Federal mandatory minimum sentences, have resulted in longer prison sentences for offenders who violate Federal drug laws. Federal judges sentence offenders according to a table established by the guidelines. These guidelines base punishments on the type and the amount of the drug, as well as the criminal history of the defendant, the severity of the crime, and other aggravating or mitigating factors. The commission recognized that some cases will not fit the guidelines and will require departures. However, judges who depart from the guidelines must provide written justification for so doing. The guidelines have brought uniformity to Federal sentencing, but have also generated considerable controversy. Some critics consider the guidelines harsh and inflexible, while others believe they are not strict enough. Federal judges criticize the guidelines mainly because they limit judges' discretion in sentencing. The article contains Drug Offense Sentencing Tables. Endnotes
Main Term(s): Courts
Index Term(s): Controlled Substances; Crime Control Act of 1984; Laws and Statutes; Sentencing commissions; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform; Statistics
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