CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Monday, November 13, 2017

Chanenson on Federal Sentencing

Chanenson stevenSteven L. Chanenson (Villanova University School of Law) has posted Five Questions for the Next Thirty Years of Federal Sentencing (Federal Probation: A Journal of Correctional Philosophy and Practice, September 2017) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Like many milestones, both personal and professional, the impending 30th anniversary of the United States Sentencing Guidelines presents a useful opportunity to reflect on the modern federal sentencing scheme and to contemplate what should happen going forward. One way to do that is by asking questions in the context of one of the federal system’s state predecessors, the Pennsylvania Sentencing Guidelines. Like anything else, the Pennsylvania approach has strengths and weaknesses, but it can show that the federal model is not the only option. 

Sentencing is hard. This piece poses five questions, ranging from the use of discretionary parole release to the value of data and transparency to the role of sentencing guidelines and commissions in a well-functioning criminal justice system. The answers to these questions may offer possible opportunities for the improvement of federal sentencing over the next thirty years.

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