Restoring Sentencing Sanity in White-Collar Criminal Cases

Westlaw Journal White-Collar Crime
10.01.14
In this article, Barry Pollack and Addy Schmitt provide commentary on the U.S. Sentencing Commission's recent announcement that it will make its review of sentencing guidelines for economic crimes a top priority. The purpose of the guidelines is to employ fact-based sentencing to ensure that similarly situated offenders are sentenced fairly and consistently. However, according to Pollack and Schmitt, in economic crime cases, these goals are not being met. As district courts vary from the guidelines in one half of economic crime cases, the result has been "unnecessarily harsh, yet inconsistent, sentences," Pollack and Schmitt write. "The commission needs to act promptly to develop a more rational scheme for sentencing white-collar offenders." The authors discuss the guidelines, including a review of economic crime sentences in the decade since the U.S. Supreme Court held that the guidelines were merely advisory, and highlight strategies to remedy the "travesty of justice" that is occurring under the current guidelines for these crimes, such as the American Bar Association's proposed substitute for Section 2B1.1.
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Restoring Sentencing Sanity in White-Collar Criminal Cases