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Criminal Procedure

1996

Sentencing commission

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Full-Text Articles in Legal History

Quality Of Mercy Must Be Restrained, And Other Lessons In Learning To Love The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Frank O. Bowman Iii Jan 1996

Quality Of Mercy Must Be Restrained, And Other Lessons In Learning To Love The Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Frank O. Bowman Iii

Faculty Publications

In the remarks that follow, I do four things. First, for those unfamiliar with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, I begin by explaining briefly how the Guidelines work. Second, I endeavor to show why Judge Cabranes is wrong, absolutely wrong in declaring the Guidelines a failure, and mostly wrong in the specific criticisms he and others level against the Guidelines. Third, after jousting with Judge Cabranes a bit, I discuss some problems with the current federal sentencing system, most notably the sheer length of narcotics sentences. Finally, I comment briefly on some of the implications of the Guidelines, and the principles ...