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In the remarks that follow, I do four things. First, for those unfamiliar with the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, I begin by explaining briefly how the Guidelines work. Second, I endeavor to show why Judge Cabranes is wrong, absolutely wrong in declaring the Guidelines a failure, and mostly wrong in the specific criticisms he and others level against the Guidelines. Third, after jousting with Judge Cabranes a bit, I discuss some problems with the current federal sentencing system, most notably the sheer length of narcotics sentences. Finally, I comment briefly on some of the implications of the Guidelines, and the principles which undergird them, for broader questions of crime control and social policy.



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