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January 24, 2012

Notable new resource from USSC concerning federal sentencing of veterans

I just came across on the US Sentencing Commission's webpage a new document that is an absolute must read for any and every person preparing for the federal sentencing of a military veteran.  Here is the title (with a link) and brief description of the document from the USSC's website homepage:

Case Annotations and Resources: Military Service; USSG §5H1.11 Departures and Booker Variances (January 2012): This document contains case annotations to federal judicial opinions that involve USSG §5H1.11 departures and Booker variances related to a defendant's military service.  It includes an introduction discussing how courts have recognized military service and mental health issues relating to combat service.

Here is an excerpt from the document's introduction:

In considering the relevance of military service to sentencing, courts are confronted with many issues. The length, nature, context, an experience of military service can vary widely. One defendant may have served entirely within the United States, perhaps in an administrative post similar to that of a civilian employee, while another may have served under harsh and dangerous combat conditions abroad. Or, a veteran-defendant may have developed a mental or physical condition while serving in the military, and that condition may have been the result of the military experience and may have contributed to commission of the crime.  Courts have weighed and will continue to weigh various factors in any given case against the goals of sentencing.

Two aspects of military service have been important in cases involving veteran defendants.  First, courts have considered the type of service and whether it warrants consideration based on a traditional practice of recognizing military service to one’s country.  Second, courts have considered whether the defendant suffers from a mental or emotional condition that is traceable to the defendant’s military service and whether the condition contributed to commission of the offense.  Accordingly, this report first takes note of traditional notions of leniency toward veterans, and next discusses some of the mental health and other consequences of military service that may be relevant to sentencing.

January 24, 2012 at 01:15 PM | Permalink

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Comments

Excuses, excuses. What's next - a special guideline for survivors of child abuse?

Posted by: no excuses for criminals | Jan 24, 2012 7:30:24 PM

More of the nanny state attitude of "it's your fault, not mine."

Posted by: no excuses for criminals | Jan 24, 2012 7:33:54 PM

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