Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2000


The central innovation of the guidelines sentencing revolution has been the creation of a regime in which facts other than those required for conviction have necessary consequences at sentencing. In days of yore, judges mulling a sentence were entitled to receive information from virtually any source on virtually any subject, but they were never obliged to pass public judgment on the truth or falsity of what they heard because no finding of fact could constrain their discretion to set a sentence anywhere within the boundaries set by statutory maxima and minima. No more. The project of the original United States Sentencing Commission was to identify those facts that ought to influence sentencing outcomes and then to create a set of rules embodying the command that sentences would be affected whenever the identified facts were found. The idea was to bring law to a region of the criminal justice system thought to be lawless by making sentencing a more adjudicatory and less discretionary process.


Published as Frank O. Bowman III, Completing the Sentencing Revolution: Reconsidering Sentencing Procedure in the Guidelines Era, 12 Fed. Sent. R. 187 (2000). © 2000 by [the Regents of the University of California/Sponsoring Society or Association]. Copying and permissions notice: Authorization to copy this content beyond fair use (as specified in Sections 107 and 108 of the U. S. Copyright Law) for internal or personal use, or the internal or personal use of specific clients, is granted by [the Regents of the University of California/on behalf of the Sponsoring Society] for libraries and other users, provided that they are registered with and pay the specified fee via Rightslink® on [JSTOR (] or directly with the Copyright Clearance Center,



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.