Source: (2008) In Arie Freiberg and Karen Gelb, Eds., Penal Populism, Sentencing Councils and Sentencing Policy. Cullompton, Devon UK: Willan Publishing. Pp. 103-111

For over 20 years the United States Sentencing Commission has been widely criticized. Most recently, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines have been subject to a stark constitutional challenge. When scholars from the American Law Institute, an esteemed American law reform organization, sought to establish model sentencing laws, the message was clear: avoid the Federal Sentencing Guidelines regime at all costs (American Law Institute, 2004, p2). The purpose of this chapter is to attempt to explain why. For other jurisdictions seeking to implement sentencing reform through a sentencing commission, it is a cautionary tale. (Excerpt)