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Sentencing Federal Offenders for Crimes Committed Before November 1, 1987

NCJ Number
J B Eaglin
Date Published
77 pages
Directed mainly to newly appointed Federal district court judges and also intended for use by experienced judges, this volume explains the sentencing options and consequences for offenders being sentenced for offenses committed before November 1, 1987, when Federal sentencing guidelines took effect.
For the earlier offenses, the offender will rarely be imprisoned for the period specified in the sentence. However, the judge must understand each possible sentence's consequences with respect to the offender's handling by the United States Bureau of Prisons and the U.S. Parole Commission. The judge has broad authority to determine the sentence. If the sentence is for imprisonment, the judge's sentence determines the offender's parole eligibility date and, subject to "good time" deductions, the maximum duration of incarceration. Within the limits so established, the parole Commission determines the actual release data. The Commission's guidelines state that the main factors determining the release date are the offense severity, the prior record, and the drug history. The Parole Commission policies reflect the view that a major function of the parole system is to compensate for sentencing disparity. Because judges are currently imposing sentences under both the old law and the more recent sentencing guidelines, it is important for the judge to make clear in the record of each proceeding which law was used in the case. Parole rating form, footnotes, and appended background information