What’s New in Federal Sentencing?
The Sentencing Project
Jan 18, 2019

FIRST STEP Act Information, Research Reports, & an Overview of Crime Victims’ Rights

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January 18, 2019

What’s New in Federal Sentencing?


The FIRST STEP Act of 2018

The FIRST STEP Act of 2018 was signed into law on Dec. 21, 2018.  Today the United States Sentencing Commission published two important documents describing the implementation and impact of the new law:


30-cities report

Intra-City Sentencing Differences

On January 8, the Commission published a new report examining differences in the sentencing practices of more than 400 federal district judges across 30 major cities located throughout the country.  The Commission’s study covers more than 143,000 criminal cases over the course of 13 years.

The analysis measured the differences between the guideline minimums and the sentences imposed in each judge’s cases.  The judges in each city were then compared and a total city spread was calculated.

The report is the second in a recent series of reports examining the structure of the federal sentencing guideline system after the Supreme Court’s 2005 decision in U.S. v. Booker. 


Crime Victims’ Rights Primer

On January 11, the Commission’s Office of General Counsel released a general overview of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act and its application to sentencing and post-sentencing issues, including revocations of probation, supervised release, habeas proceedings, and parole proceedings. Learn more

Feb. 19, 2019 | Public Comment Deadline


Comment on Proposed Amendments

The Commission is currently seeking comment on proposed amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines, including a proposal concerning how sentencing courts determine if a prior conviction is a “crime of violence” under the guidelines.  How do I submit comment?

mand-min sex offenses figure

Mandatory Minimum Penalties for Federal Sex Offenses

On January 2, the Commission released a sixth and final publication in its series on mandatory minimum penalties.  The report examines the application of mandatory minimum penalties specific to federal sex offenses; specifically, sexual abuse and child pornography offenses.


ESP Newsletter

Winter 2019 Edition

Learn more about the 2019 Nat’l Seminar on the Federal Sentencing Guidelines and other sentencing topics in the latest edition of ESP’s Insider Express.

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