skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 97709 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing Federal Offenders - Some Thoughts on the Present and of the Future
Journal: Detroit College of Law Review  Volume:1983  Issue:4  Dated:(Winter 1983)  Pages:1105-1109
Author(s): A Cohn
Date Published: 1983
Page Count: 5
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A judge for the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, discusses his sentencing decisions and concludes that voluntary guidelines coupled with participation in a sentencing council is the best approach to reducing disparity.
Abstract: Several factors must be considered when sentencing an offender, including the place of custody, the possible security designation, possible errors in the presentence report, the need for observation and study, and the appropriateness of restitution as a condition of probation. Yet the principal question is whether the offender should receive a custodial sentence and how long should that sentence be. A judge may be assisted in a decision by the presentence report and occasionally a sentencing memorandum from the offender's lawyer, letters from friends and relatives, a psychologist's report, and recommendations of colleagues in a sentencing council. Finally, a judge can request monthly reports of all sentences imposed in the District and refer to Federal court reports. Still, in the last analysis, the single most important factor is the judge's informed discretion. A recent effort by Eastern District judges to establish sentencing guidelines for offenders charged with the unauthorized acquisition of food stamps suggests that disparity will always be a problem. Voluntary guidelines and a required consultation with a sentencing council are more likely to reduce disparity than rigid guidelines and a complex bureaucratic structure. Six footnotes are included.
Index Term(s): District Courts; Sentencing disparity; Sentencing factors; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.