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Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Criminal Law

Federal Sentencing Guidelines

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Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

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 ...


Rita V. United States Leaves More Open Than It Answers, Stephanos Bibas Oct 2007

Rita V. United States Leaves More Open Than It Answers, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This essay surveys the sentencing issues left open by Rita v. United States and considers how the presumption of reasonableness is likely to operate in practice and how rebutable it is, the roles of safe harbors and individual judges' policy disagreements, and the importance of Justices Stevens and Ginsburg as the swing Justices in this area. This line of cases has drifted far from its roots in a Sixth Amendment concern for juries. Though the resulting sentencing policies may be substantively desirable, the Court cannot articulate how they are rooted in the Sixth Amendment's concern for juries.


White-Collar Plea Bargaining And Sentencing After Booker, Stephanos Bibas Feb 2005

White-Collar Plea Bargaining And Sentencing After Booker, Stephanos Bibas

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This symposium essay speculates about how Booker's loosening of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines is likely to affect white-collar plea bargaining and sentencing. Prosecutors' punishment intuitions and the strong white-collar defense bar will keep white-collar sentencing from growing as harsh as drug sentencing, but the parallels are nonetheless ominous. The essay suggests that the Sentencing Commission revise its loss-computation rules, calibrate white-collar sentences to their core purpose of expressing condemnation, and adding shaming punishments and apologies to give moderate prison sentences more bite.