U.S. Sentencing Commission Materials

The Sentencing Guidelines regularly create unjust results in white collar cases. Loss calculations, which are not tethered to reality or related to actual culpability, produce sentences that are astoundingly high and do not serve the goals of sentencing. The risk of being sentenced under these draconian guidelines effectively precludes defendants from exercising their Sixth Amendment right to a trial. This page contains resources on the U.S. Sentencing Commission as it relates to white collar sentencing and possible reform.  

This page contains resources on the U.S. Sentencing Commission as it relates to white collar sentencing and possible reform.

2016 Amendment Cycle

The U.S. Sentencing Commission proposed amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines on January 15, 2016. On March 21, 2016, NACDL submitted commentary on those proposed amendments for the 2016 cycle.      

2015 Amendment Cycle

The U.S. Sentencing Commission proposed new amendments to the Guidelines that include significant changes to the Fraud Guideline, Section 2B1.1, and inflationary adjustments to fines for white collar offenses and organizations. NACDL submitted commentary on the proposed amendments and, on April 9, 2015, the Commission voted to adopt various changes to the Guidelines, including changes to the fraud guideline.  NACDL again submitted commentary on the revised amendments on November 5, 2015.   

2014 Amendment Cycle

On March 18, 2014, NACDL submitted comments to the Commission on its proposed amendments for the 2014 cycle.

On July 15, 2013, NACDL submitted a response to the Commission's request for comment on proposed priorities for the 2014 cycle.

2013 Amendment Cycle

For the 2013 cycle, the U.S. Sentencing Commission proposed amendments to the Guidelines that cover white collar issues, including the theft of pre-retail medical products, trade secrets and economic espionage, counterfeit or adulterated drugs and counterfeit military parts, and the circuit conflict regarding the calculation of tax loss by a sentencing court.

On March 19, 2013, NACDL submitted comments urging the Commission to act cautiously and to not create overlapping or overly broad guidelines in these areas. Read NACDL's Comments on the Proposed Amendments, and the USSC Proposed Amendments

NACDL's Comments on past amendment cycles are available here.

General Resources

U.S. Sentencing Commission Guidelines Helpline – (202) 502-4545 – The Commission operates a telephone Helpline to assist judges, probation officers, prosecuting and defense attorneys, law clerks, and congressional staff members with specific guideline application questions. It is open Monday through Friday between 8:30AM and 5:00PM EST.

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U.S. Sentencing Commission Public Hearing on Federal Sentencing Options after Booker - Includes hearing transcript and written statements of all witnesses, including NACDL's written testimony

U.S.S.C., Results of Survey of U.S. District Judges January 2010 through March 2010  (June 2010)

Guidelines for Individuals

2014 Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual – Table of Contents 

Chapter Two – Offense Conduct 

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Chapter Three – Adjustments 

Chapter Four – Criminal History and Criminal Livelihood  

Chapter Five – Determining the Sentence  

Guidelines for Organizations

Chapter Eight: Sentencing of Organizations  

Ad Hoc Advisory Group on the Organizational Sentencing Guidelines