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Columbia Law School

1990

Law Enforcement and Corrections

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Full-Text Articles in Law

"Carrot And Stick" Sentencing: Structuring Incentives For Organizational Defendants, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1990

"Carrot And Stick" Sentencing: Structuring Incentives For Organizational Defendants, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The new "Draft Guidelines for Organizational Defendants" released by the U.S. Sentencing Commission on October 25, 1990, explicitly adopt a "'carrot and stick' approach" to sentencing. While the boldly instrumental use made of sentencing penalties and credits in these guidelines will trouble some, the larger question is whether the Commission's social engineering will work. Two issues stand out: First, is the Commission's carrot mightier than its stick? At first glance, this may seem a surprising question because the "stick" in the Commission's guidelines seemingly packs a Ruthian wallop: fines under the draft guidelines are based on ...