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October 9, 2020

Some resources for sentencing Rob Anon under the modern federal sentencing guidelines

As I have emphasized in our recent classes, much of the rest of our time together will have us discussing non-capital (and mostly federal) sentencing policies and practice after modern guideline reforms.   As we turn to sentencing Rob Anon under the modern federal sentencing guidelines, I would encourage class members to try to figure out how to identify and assess federal guideline sentencing laws relevant to Rob Anon with just the help of on-line search materials or traditional legal research resources (and feel free to use the comments to express frustration on how hard this can be for novices).  Consider that a federal defendant or a novice lawyer taking on his or her first federal criminal case will not likely have access to any perfect guide (or even "Guidelines for Dummies") to enable ready understanding of the federal sentencing guidelines.

If and when you would like some guideline sentencing help, you can turn to these links which take you directly to key guideline provisions for Rob Anon appearing in the "official" on-line version of the now-applicable US Sentencing Guidelines as provided on the US Sentencing Commission's website:

I highly encourage class members to start working through these "basic" federal guideline sentencing materials on their own (again feeling free to use the comments to express frustration) before looking for any more sentencing help.  That said, if (when?) you want or need even more help, here is a worksheet created by the US Sentencing Commission intended to aid in the guideline sentencing process:

In this assignment, give particular thought to the array of challenges that modern federal sentencing law may present for modern federal sentencing lawyers.  If you want to think particularly about the import and impact of sentencing law for the work of defense attorneys, perhaps check out this article I wrote some years ago seeking to highlight "the array of challenges that the Federal Sentencing Guidelines create for defense counsel."

October 9, 2020 in Class activities, Guideline sentencing systems | Permalink


I struggled with understanding whether Rob's prior juvenile offenses counted against him when just looking at the guidelines. I got confused bc of the wording of the guidelines. Requiring a juvenile record w/in last five yrs to be counted is listed under language saying certain convictions do not count, so I had initially skimmed over it. I am still a little confused bc it seems like elsewhere it said juvenile status offenses are never counted, but then later that any juvenile offense w/in past 5 yrs counts. I'm guessing juvenile status offense is sth that I don't understand and that is why I got confused. Maybe it is only offenses that are specific to juveniles. After looking at the worksheet, it seemed that I would have to add 1 to the penalty # for his last juvenile offense.

Posted by: Lisa Armour | Oct 13, 2020 1:43:49 PM

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