Monday, July 12, 2004

And we want guideline issues submitted to juries?

United States District Court for the District of Puerto Rico - PROBATION SERVICES has this to say of the Sentencing Guidelines:
The United States Sentencing Guidelines are difficult to interpret for anyone not accustomed to their intricacies as the Sentencing Guidelines Manual provides a complicated format comprised of guidelines, policy statements, and commentaries, all of which vary as to purpose and legal effect. Additionally, because the Sentencing Guidelines are regularly revised and updated to meet the needs and demands of the criminal justice system more time is required to learn and understand those changes. Conversely, with the ever increasing demand on the federal criminal justice system to handle the onslaught of criminal cases, judges, defense and government attorneys, as well as, probation officers find it difficult to joggle time constraints with developing a basic working knowledge, let alone a level of expertise of guideline applications. To effectively mete out the challenges posed and problems incurred by all the parties involved in the federal sentencing process the Sentencing Guidelines Specialist serves as the Federal Sentencing Guidelines advocate.
No wonder we want jurors to deal with the guidelines now!