Fear of Judging Sentencing Guidelines in the Federal Courts

ISBN-10: 0226774864
ISBN-13: 9780226774862
Edition: N/A
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Description: For two centuries, federal judges exercised wide discretion in criminal sentencing. This changed in 1987, when a hopelessly complex bureaucratic apparatus was imposed on the federal courts. Though termed Sentencing "Guidelines," the new sentencing  More...

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Book details

List price: $27.50
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 10/1/1998
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 290
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

For two centuries, federal judges exercised wide discretion in criminal sentencing. This changed in 1987, when a hopelessly complex bureaucratic apparatus was imposed on the federal courts. Though termed Sentencing "Guidelines," the new sentencing rules are mandatory. Reformers hoped that the Sentencing Guidelines would address inequities in sentencing. The Guidelines have failed to achieve this goal, according to Kate Stith and Joseacute; Cabranes, and they have sacrificed comprehensibility and common sense. Fear of Judging is the first full-scale history, analysis, and critique of the new sentencing regime. The authors show that the present system has burdened the courts, dehumanized the sentencing process, and, by repressing judicial discretion, eroded the constitutional balance of powers. Eschewing ideological or politically oriented critiques of the Guidelines and offering alternatives to the current system, Stith and Cabranes defend a vision of justice that requires judges to perform what has traditionally been considered their central task--exercising judgment.

Preface
Introduction
Sentencing Reform in Historical Perspective
The Invention of the Sentencing Guidelines
Judging under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines
The Battle Cry of Disparity
Prospects for the Future
Sentencing Table of the United States Sentencing Guidelines
"Relevant Conduct" Guideline
The Complexity of Criminal History
How Sentencing Works
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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