Fear of Judging

Stith Kate Cabranes José a
For two centuries, federal judges exercised wide discretion in criminal sentencing. In 1987 a complex bureaucratic apparatus termed Sentencing "Guidelines" was imposed on federal courts. FEAR OF JUDGING is the first full-scale history, analysis, and critique of the new sentencing regime, arguing that it sacrifices comprehensibility and common sense.
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For two centuries, federal judges exercised wide discretion in criminal sentencing. This changed in 1987, when a hopelessly complex bureaucratic apparatus was imposed on the federal courts. Though termed Sentencing Guidelines, the new sentencing rules are mandatory. Reformers hoped that the Sentencing Guidelines would address inequities in sentencing. The Guidelines have failed to achieve this goal, according to Kate Stith and José Cabranes, and they have sacrificed comprehensibility and common sense.

Fear of Judging is the first full-scale history, analysis, and critique of the new sentencing regime. The authors show that the present system has burdened the courts, dehumanized the sentencing process, and, by repressing judicial discretion, eroded the constitutional balance of powers. Eschewing ideological or politically oriented critiques of the Guidelines and offering alternatives to the current system, Stith and Cabranes defend a vision of justice that requires judges to perform what has traditionally been considered their central task--exercising judgment.

More Information
Publisher University of Chicago Press
ISBN-10 0226774864
ISBN-13 9780226774862
GTIN-13 9780226774862
GTIN-14 09780226774862
Series Chicago Series on Sexuality, History
Subtitle Sentencing Guidelines in the Federal Courts
Author Stith Kate|Cabranes José a
Edition 1
Language Code eng
Page Count 290
Publication Date Sep 30, 1998
Dimension 5.98 in 9.1 in 0.64 in