Abstract and Keywords
Although formal sentencing guideline schemes are most developed in the United States, England and Wales, a number of other countries have created sentencing bodies to undertake a variety of functions. Sentencing councils and commissions have become an important element of the contemporary punishment environment. This article compares and contrasts the functions of a number of representative sentencing councils and commissions, including the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission and the United States Sentencing Commission, among others, to examine how such bodies supplement the work of courts and government departments. Ultimately, the article presents some conclusions about the optimal characteristics for such a council.
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