Fear of Judging: Sentencing Guidelines
in the Federal Courts
By Kate Stith and José A. Cabranes
A thorough, scholarly attack on the federal sentencing guidelines, Fear of Judging also proposes an alternative.
University of Chicago Press (1998)
Reviewed by: Eric Howard
Lawyers who are looking for ammunition to attack the federal sentencing guidelines and the political impetus behind them will find it in Fear of Judging. In this well-researched overview, Stith and Cabranes (Stith is a former federal prosecutor; Cabranes is an appellate judge in New York) explain what is wrong with the current guidelines and offer counterarguments to the realpolitik defense of sentencing guidelines. With ample historical analysis, notes, bibliography, and glossary, ;Fear of Judging can also serve as a starting point for related scholarship and journalism.
This work is an important contribution to an area of debate that has grown in concert with increasing public awareness of the unintended consequences of unwieldy and complicated sentencing guidelines.
Eric Howard is associate editor of Los Angeles Lawyer.