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Federal Guideline Sentencing Essay

958 words - 4 pages

In the past two decades, major developments in guideline sentencing have taken place due to Judicial Discretion and Sentencing Disparities which led to dramatic changes by the U.S. Supreme Court in Federal guideline sentencing.
Prior to the implementation of sentencing guidelines, judges had total judicial discretion in determining sentence lengths leading to a wide fluctuation of sentences to offenders convicted of similar crimes due to the judge considering all information about the offender when sentencing.
A great disparity existed between judges; some were lenient while others were stricter this inconsistency led to sentencing disparity between judges. In response to concerns that ...view middle of the document...

Judgment stops and people are processed according to objective criteria.
According to Findlaw 2014, there were numerous cases that led to Sentencing reform but I will briefly describe and discuss 5 of these below:
In United States v. Booker (2005) Booker was found guilty of possession and intent to distribute drugs and was sentenced to 30 years. The Supreme Court found the guidelines violated the Sixth Amendments right to a trial by jury since it used outside facts that were not given to or proved to a jury in-order to increase a sentence beyond the standard guideline range. Booker v. U.S. (2005) also rendered the Federal Sentencing guidelines from mandatory to optional (Hemingway & Hinton, 2009).
In Blakely v Washington (2004) Blakely was found guilty of second degree kidnapping with domestic violence while using a firearm and sentenced to a 90 month sentence. The Supreme Court found the guidelines violated the Sixth Amendments right to a trial by jury since it used outside facts that were not provided to or proved to a jury in-order to increase a sentence beyond the standard range.
In Rita v. United States (2007) the Supreme Court held that his 33 month sentence imposed for perjury were within the properly calculated Guidelines range and is presumptively reasonable.
However in Gall v United States (2007) Gall was convicted of conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance and sentenced to 36 months of probation. The Supreme Court removed the presumption of unreasonableness for sentences outside the Guidelines range. Any reasonable sentence can be handed down as long as they explain their reasoning behind it.
In Alleyne v. United States (2013) Alleyne was convicted of robbery and firearm possession and sentenced to 130 months. The Supreme Court held that yet once again facts that an increase in a mandatory minimum penalty must be submitted to a jury and found beyond a reasonable doubt.
In-order to prevent violating the...

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