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April 18, 2006

An Introduction to Federal Sentencing (9th ed. 2006)

Federal public defender Lucien Campbell was kind enough to send me a copy (and allow me to post) the new (and ninth) edition of the paper he co-authors with fellow defender Henry Bemporad entitled "An Introduction to Federal Sentencing." Here is the introduction to the 32-page document:

Despite the fundamental policy change that Booker represents, the decision so far has had relatively little practical effect on federal sentencing.  Judges are now vested with far more sentencing discretion, but they have used that discretion sparingly, continuing as before to impose sentences within the guideline range in the majority of cases.  Nevertheless, the fact that the guidelines are now advisory rather than mandatory can have a tremendous effect on a particular defendant's case.  The effect can be either positive or negative, and defense counsel must be prepared to gauge the potential benefits and risks of the advisory guidelines at every stage of a federal criminal case.  The starting point is a thorough understanding of the federal sentencing process.

This paper begins by describing the statutory basis of guideline sentencing, as altered by the Supreme Court in Booker.  It then reviews the structure of the guidelines, explains how they are calculated in a typical case, discusses plea bargaining, and warns of traps for the unwary. The treatment is far from exhaustive; this paper provides no more than an overview to facilitate gaining a working knowledge of the federal sentencing system as it now stands.

Download Intro_Fed_Sentg_9th.pdf

April 18, 2006 at 05:42 PM | Permalink


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Thanks for posting this! Very helpful.

Posted by: anonymouse | Apr 18, 2006 8:23:15 PM

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