This article traces the evolution of the sentencing reform debate in Congress in 2015. It summarizes and compares the six major pieces of sentencing legislation introduced in 2015. It describes the progression from conceptually simple, broadly applicable reforms of mandatory minimum sentences to the regime of complex and highly restrictive rules relaxing mandatory minimum sentences for a modest subset of federal defendants found in the bills that passed the Senate and House Judiciary Committees. The article summarizes some of the concerns voiced about he sentencing provisions of the various bills. Finally, it discusses the three pending bills relating to back-end release: Senator Bernie Sanders' proposed restoration of federal parole, the SAFE Justice Act introduced in the House, and the Corrections Act portion of the Senate's Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.
Frank O. Bowman III,
Good Enough to Be Getting on With? The State of Federal Sentencing Legislation, December 2015, 28 Federal Sentencing Reporter 105
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/facpubs/739