In 1987, the Nation’s first attempt to standardize federal sentencing came in the form of the United States Sentencing Guidelines. Following United States v. Booker, however, the Guidelines project began bending, and today it is now all but broken, besieged by complexity, undue severity, and the very disparities that it was designed to limit. This Article responds to this crisis by establishing the blueprint for an alternative federal sentencing model. Under this proposal, sentencing determinations would be based on statutory grades and unweighted aggravating and mitigating factors. This approach brings coherence to the purposes of punishment and, by deemphasizing quantitative determinations, promises increased judicial discretion and greater opportunities for counsel to influence sentencing. To demonstrate this system’s simplicity and workability, this Article applies the system to actual federal cases.
77 Md. L. Rev. 485 (2018)