Preview of Member Only Content
For full access: or Become a Member
The federal sentencing guidelines and the end of the adversary system
By Lawrence Goldman
President's Column columns.
As I write, Congress, at the behest of the Department of Justice, is
considering a bill that will minimize the already limited discretion
federal judges have in sentencing matters. If the bill passes the
Republican-controlled Congress, there will be a further shift of power
to the prosecutor, who already determines who to charge, what to charge,
and, often, what the sentence will be. The role of the judge in the
vast majority of criminal felony cases, those which result in guilty
pleas, will be limited in most instances to determining where in a
narrow range — essentially determined by the prosecutor — the defendant
should be sentenced.
The practice of criminal law in the federal courts is already far
different than it was some years ago before the Sentencing Guidelines
were enacted and, largely as a result of the Guidelines, the United
States attorney was given effective control of sentencing decisions.
The adversary system that we learned about in la
Want to read more?
The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.
NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
Not a member? Join now.
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.
See what NACDL members say about us.
To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.
- Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.