An Introduction to Federal Sentencing

While the sentencing of criminal defendants has not changed much after the 2005 decision in United States v. Booker, sentences are not controlled by the Sentencing Guidelines in the same way they used to be. Judges have more flexibility to evaluate cases individually. Even for courts that are willing to impose sentences outside the guidelines range, the guidelines are still important. The guidelines are the starting point. It is therefore still important to understand how they work.