« Reminder: Before Tuesday's class, do/review the pre-modern-reform federal sentencing exercise! | Main | Do we need to worry about (complex) guidelines enhancing disparity or severity or both? »

October 19, 2011

Hints and help for federal guidelines sentencing of Rob Anon

Throughout today and tomorrow, I will in through this post provide progressively more and more hints and help for sentencing Rob Anon under the modern federal sentencing guidelines.  I will begin with a few links to the "official" on-line version of the now-applicable US Sentencing Guidelines as provided on the US Sentencing Commission's website:

UPDATE #1:  Class members can and should all thank Patrick for his first comment on this thread, which prompts me to provide more hints and help.  Specifically, I am below setting out links to a few more key guideline provisions for the sentencing of Rob Anon:

With some more comments, I will be sure to provide some more hints and help.

UPDATE #2:  Class members now can and should all give extra thanks to Joseph for providing the next very substantive comment on this thread, which prompts me to provide still more hints and help.  Specifically, I am below setting out a link to a worksheet created by the US Sentencing Commission intended to aid in the guideline sentencing process:

I also think it is always helpful to keep looking at the magical USSG Sentencing Table.

October 19, 2011 in Class activities | Permalink


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Hints and help for federal guidelines sentencing of Rob Anon:


This gives me a headache. I can see why judges have to get training before being able to effectively use the sentencing guidelines.

At first I thought it would be so easy to just go through a checklist, determine an offense level and a criminal history category and presto: a number (sentence) magically appears.

Posted by: Patrick M. | Oct 19, 2011 2:50:42 PM

I realize that it might be require a world record size of paper, but I would love to see a flow chart of the guidelines.

Posted by: Olivia Bumb | Oct 20, 2011 1:55:41 AM

You the man Pat

Posted by: Colin P | Oct 20, 2011 12:37:19 PM

Wow. I thought the guidelines would make this easier. I guess I was thinking like Patrick before I actually looked at this stuff in depth. Even with the directed links I think I came up with a different number in each of the first few times I went through the guidelines.

Now I'm pretty certain that I found the correct sentencing range but I have no idea what sentence to give. It's a little annoying that the guidelines are so specific and complexly mechanical and then when they finally allow for some discretion there is such a narrow range to work with. After all this work I don't even feel like defending why I would give one sentence in the range over another.

I would also like to note that when I was reading through the Booker majority opinion, I was pretty furious that the Court took it upon itself to change the legislatures guidelines to essentially revert to a discretionary system. While reading Breyer's part of the majority opinion I was making all the arguments in my head that Stevens and Scalia ultimately made in their dissents. But after actually using the guidelines I feel a little bit differently. I guess I still disagree with Breyer's reasoning in the majority opinion, but I am a little less irritated by the outcome.

Posted by: Joseph Thompson | Oct 20, 2011 1:36:20 PM

While searching about sentencing online, I came across this Web site:


It features a step-by-step tool that allows you to calculate a sentencing range. I got the same number using the tool as I did when I calculated it by hand last week, but it was interesting to play around with.

Posted by: Krystin Brehm | Oct 25, 2011 2:18:22 PM

The comments to this entry are closed.