Friday, April 8, 2005
To add some comments here to my co-blogger :
1. It is unlikely courts will go far afield from the sentencing guidelines because there is a tradition in place and some scrutiny right now, in that everyone is watching what will happen. It seems unlikely that judges will want to drift far from the guidelines in this present state of affairs.
2. But there is an additional point of consideration regarding whether judges will go outside the guidelines. Just, perhaps, the guidelines failed to account for prosecutorial discretion that might toss in extraneous charges into white collar cases. Take for example a charge of money laundering, a crime initially intended for drug offenses. Today we see money laundering tacked on to many white collar offenses, like mail fraud. When this happens, judges have no choice but to neutralize this prosecutorial discretion.
3. So if we are talking about going outside the guidelines in white collar cases, it is important to also consider that prosecutors may be instigating this extension by charging crimes that merely are intended to heighten the sentence.