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 are the sentencing guidelines, and how would they impact sentencing in this matter?
  • Why were sentencing guidelines developed, and what is their purpose?
  • How would sentencing guidelines impact the sentencing of this case? Do they allow judges enough discretion when imposing a sentence?
  • 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?