Understanding Federal Sentencing Guidelines and How They’re Used

Understanding Federal Sentencing Guidelines and How They’re Used

NLPA blog 12In 1984 Congress passed an act that made it so there were specific guidelines for how a person could be sentenced for a crime. Prior to this point in time, there was a lot of concern that judges in different parts of the country were being too lenient or too strict when it came to sentencing. Congress decided to make a set manual that could be used when sentencing people.

Federal sentencing guidelines suggest a sentence based on the type of offense, the history of a defendant, and how the crime was committed. These are still only guidelines of course. Judges may still decide to give a more lenient sentence based on factors that are presented to them. This decision must be seen as reasonable in response to the individual factors of a case.

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