Instructor Insights: Sentencing, week 7 Discussion help

Week 7 Instructor Insights: Sentencing

This week we also focus on sentencing as part of our study, scholars.

The text is pretty straightforward on theory and rote application… but are there deeper issues?

Let me give you a scenario.

Criminal 1 robs bank in Washington State.

Criminal 2 robs bank in New York.

Criminal 3 robs bank in Texas.

All 3 are tried and convicted for the same exact federal charges involving the bank robberies.

All 3 receive very different prison sentences with respect to duration of imprisonment.

Does everyone see how at least 2 are going to argue that there is a lack of fairness…or “Equal Protection of the Laws” in the applications of sentences?

All 3 crimes led to the exact same FEDERAL criminal charges…and convictions on the exact same crimes. Thus – why different outcomes?

This perception of injustice was largely responsible for a legislative attempt to cure the perceived problem. “The Federal Sentencing Guidelines” were created…and passed into law.

I’m sure that many of you have heard the old adage that the road to Hades is paved with good intentions!

First – read the Booker case. I will attach it for you.

I suspect that some of you may find some of the arguments confusing … so I am including a DOJ Report to help you better understand how a solution to one problem may create others – even where intentions may have arisen in goodwill and a sense of justice.

Come back to the Crime Blog through the Week 7 tab – and I want to hear answers to what you learned in reading these two documents.

Which is a better approach? Judicial Discretion in sentencing…or a formulaic approach where one’s “Score” is added to produce a very specific outcome… as one might find in a fantasy sports league!

Download and Read:

Supreme Court. Booker v. United States 543_U.S._220,_125_S._Ct._738,_160_L._Ed._.pdf 


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