United States Sentencing Commission

The United States Sentencing Commission is an independent agency of the judicial branch of the U.S. federal government. It is responsible for articulating the U.S. Federal Sentencing Guidelines for the federal courts. The Commission promulgates the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which replaced the prior system of indeterminate sentencing that allowed trial judges to give sentences ranging from probation to the maximum statutory punishment for the offense. It is headquartered in Washington, D.C.

The commission was created by the Sentencing Reform Act provisions of the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984. The constitutionality of the commission was challenged as a congressional encroachment on the power of the executive but upheld by the Supreme Court in ''Mistretta v. United States'', .

The U.S. Sentencing Commission was established by Congress as a permanent, independent agency within the judicial branch. The seven members of the Commission are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, for a term of six years. The Judicial Conference offers names of potential nominees to the President for nomination. Commission members may be reappointed to one additional term, also with the advice and consent of the Senate. Some Commission members have been appointed to finish out the term of prior members instead of starting their own 6-year term, and therefore, not all Commission members have served six years or more. Three of the members must be federal judges, and no more than four may belong to the same political party. The Attorney General or his designee and the chair of the United States Parole Commission sit as ''ex officio'', non-voting members of the Commission. The Commission requires a quorum of at least four voting members in order to promulgate amendments to the Sentencing Guidelines.

As of January 2022, the last time the Commission had a full membership (of seven voting members) was in 2014, when Patti B. Saris served as Chair, and the following six members served on the Commission: Ricardo H. Hinojosa, Ketanji Brown Jackson, Dabney L. Friedrich, William H. Pryor Jr., Rachel E. Barkow, and Danny C. Reeves. Since January 2019, the commission has lacked a quorum and been unable to function. Provided by Wikipedia
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