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Why were the federal sentencing guidelines developed, and what is their purpose?

As an investigator with the Federal Public Defender’s Office, you are assisting Assistant Federal Defender Lilly Jones with gathering background information on offender Ben Smith, who pled guilty to distribution of a controlled substance (5 kilograms of cocaine). Mr. Smith is being sentenced next month.

In a 2–3-page paper, provide an overview of the following:

  • Why were the federal sentencing guidelines developed, and what is their purpose?
  • Who created the Federal Sentencing Guidelines?
  • What factors will a court take into consideration when sentencing Mr. Smith?
  • In your opinion, do the federal sentencing guidelines allow judges enough discretion when imposing a sentence in this type of case?
  • Should judges have more or less discretion when it comes to sentencing?
  • What are the 3 most important things that Ms. Jones should tell the judge at sentencing about Mr. Smith to aid in sentencing?

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