The Federal Sentencing Guidelines for Corporations: Their Development, Theoretical Underpinnings, and Some Thoughts About Their Future


This Article traces the Sentencing Commission's path in completing that task32 and considers what work lies ahead. The Article addresses four specific questions: (1) Given that the Commission's primary mandate is to facilitate greater certainty, uniformity, effectiveness and rationality in the sentencing of individuals, why did the Commission tackle the area of corporate sentencing at all? (2) How did the Commission arrive at the philosophical bases that underlie the fine provisions of the corporate sentencing guidelines? (3) How did the principles of deterrence and just punishment for the offense shape the Commission's decisionmaking with respect to the key structural issues involved in creating the corporate fine guidelines, and what other factors played a role in the construction of these guidelines? and (4) Are the corporate Sentencing Guidelines cast in stone, or can organizations and attorneys expect changes in the future?


Criminal liability of juristic persons, Sentencing guidelines (Criminal procedure)



Ilene H. Nagel (Indiana University Maurer School of Law)
Winthrop M. Swenson (United States Sentencing Commission)



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