Rakoff Slams US Sentencing Guidelines For Being Too Harsh

Law360, New York (May 14, 2012, 8:59 PM EDT) -- A federal judge on Monday called federal sentencing guidelines irrational, overly punitive and too blunt, saying he would continue to deviate from them despite the U.S. Department of Justice's plea for more uniformity in sentencing.

In speaking during the New York City Bar Association's first white collar summit, U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff said federal sentencing guidelines foolishly suggest judges can use simple arithmetic to answer the complex question of what is an appropriate punishment for a crime.

Judge Rakoff, long a critic of sentencing guidelines, dismissed a recent push by the DOJ to better align judges on sentencing, particularly in...

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