Ethical Issues


Federal sentencing guidelines are regulated by the US Sentencing Commission.  The sentencing commission was created to develop guidelines that would restrict judicial discretion.  This would prevent a judge to make a decision on sentencing randomly.  Meaning, they were not going to be allowed to sentence two people who committed the same crime in two different ways.  These guidelines were meant to make sentences that were based on the offense and the offender.  They were meant to assist the court in developing an appropriate starting point for an offender to be sentenced.  These guidelines however are still just guidelines.  A judge can still aggravate a sentence based on the criminals past criminal history or anything other supposed good reason the judge must show.  There are also minimums to sentences, however a judge can either give the minimum, increase it to the maximum for good cause or even reduce the minimum.  The guidelines however have increased sentence times and increased population in the prisons

The court staff would need to stay on top of the rules at all times, and make sure the judges also know the new rules as they come around.  If the guidelines change so must the way the judge handles each offender.  It would be a challenge to keep up with all the guidelines and try to remain true to those guidelines.  

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