Monday, September 10, 2018
Jelani Jefferson Exum (University of Toledo College of Law) has posted Giving Guidance to the Guidelines (South Carolina Law Review, Vol. 68, No. 453, 2017) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Throughout the country, we are seeing sentencing reform efforts reshape the way resources are being used to control crime and punish offenders. Fueled mostly by the practical challenges of overcrowded prisons and mounting costs, lawmakers have been willing to amend existing law in order to reduce incarceration for low-level, nonviolent offenders. This same effort at being “smart on crime” has been embraced by the federal government as well. While most of these changes are in the form of changes to mandatory minimum laws, the use of evidence-based sentencing practices, and a focus on diversion and re-entry programs, the role that the actual sentencers -- the judges -- play in the process should not be ignored. Any reform of federal sentencing necessarily requires reforming the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines to incorporate those changes.