Choosing A System

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:

  • What sentence is required in this case based on the federal sentencing guidelines?
  • Why were the federal sentencing guidelines developed, and what is their purpose?
  • In your opinion, do the 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 Ms. Jones should tell the judge at sentencing about Mr. Smith to aid in sentencing?