Essay Changes in Sentencing Guidelines:
Sentencing guidelines refer to general laws and rules that are legislated to help set out the sentencing policy for convicted persons in serious offenses. These guidelines are set out in the United States federal courts system. For a long period of time, various changes have been witnessed in the sentencing guidelines with most changes intended to aid in curbing the offenses. Since the inception of the sentencing reform act in 1984, a lot of progress has been made to ensure that disparities within the sentencing system are addressed (Stith & Cabranes, 1998).
Reasons for Changes in Sentencing Guidelines
A step towards the changes in sentencing guidelines was made in a case of United States V. Booker. The ruling of the case was to see the judges enjoy the right of discretion when deciding cases. This right had been taken away from them by Congress. It was observed that, for a long period of time, the existing mandatory sentencing guidelines violated or infringed the rights of most defendants (Stith & Cabranes, 1998). The rights that were seen to be violated were the right to trial by jury. This occurred due to judges being given the power to make realistic findings that would in effect increase sentences beyond the maximum that the finding by the jury would hold up.
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