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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Apprendi

Social and Behavioral Sciences

2008

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Judicial Fact-Finding At Sentencing, Stephanos Bibas Dec 2008

Judicial Fact-Finding At Sentencing, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This encyclopedia entry summarizes the pendulum-swings that led the Supreme Court in Apprendi v. New Jersey, Blakely v. Washington, and United States v. Booker to limit judges' ability to find facts at sentencing. Paradoxically, the much-criticized Federal Sentencing Guidelines have survived; a line of cases that began as an effort to restore juries' role has turned into a guarantor of judicial discretion; and the doctrine has quickly moved far from its Sixth Amendment roots to a policy balancing test. The Court could instead have pursued a different, more fruitful path. The Court did not have to force sentencing factors into ...