Improving Federal Sentencing

18 Pages Posted: 9 Apr 2019

See all articles by Shon Hopwood

Shon Hopwood

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: March 15, 2018


Even after the Supreme Court declared the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines unconstitutional and advisory only, federal judges continue to impose advisory Guidelines sentences in a large number of sentencing proceedings. Judges continue to employ the Guidelines, even though the Guidelines are overly punitive and even though the U.S. Sentencing Commission does not take into consideration the thousands of collateral consequences that those convicted of federal felonies face after serving a period of incarceration. Why? This essay explains why federal sentencing judges should discontinue such heavy reliance on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines ranges.

Keywords: sentencing, mass incarceration, collateral consequences, sentencing guidelines, federal judiciary

Suggested Citation

Hopwood, Shon R., Improving Federal Sentencing (March 15, 2018). University of Missouri-Kansas City Law Review, Vol. 87, No. 79, 2018, Available at SSRN:

Shon R. Hopwood (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
2026629559 (Phone)

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