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Guidelines Simplification: Still an Urgent Priority Post-Booker

4 Pages Posted: 5 Sep 2008 Last revised: 23 Dec 2013

Michael M. O'Hear

Marquette University - Law School

Date Written: September 4, 2008


This Essay argues that Federal Sentencing Guidelines would benefit from substantial restructuring and simplification. Although the status of the Guidelines has recently changed from mandatory to merely advisory, the Guidelines remain a highly influential part of the federal sentencing process, and their reform remains an urgent priority. Simplified guidelines, as proposed in 2006 by a working group of sentencing experts, would provide fairer sentences, better accommodate new procedural safeguards, and insulate the Guidelines from counterproductive tinkering by the political branches. This Essay appears as part of a forthcoming issue of the Federal Sentencing Reporter (Vol. 20, No. 5) containing advice on sentencing policy for the new President and Congress.

Keywords: sentencing, sentencing guidelines, guidelines, booker

JEL Classification: K14, K42

Suggested Citation

O'Hear, Michael M., Guidelines Simplification: Still an Urgent Priority Post-Booker (September 4, 2008). Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 20, No. 5, 2008; Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 08-20. Available at SSRN:

Michael M. O'Hear (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

Sensenbrenner Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States
414-288-3587 (Phone)
414-288-5914 (Fax)

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