Washington Law Review


Gary Swearingen


The Federal Sentencing Guidelines enhance sentences when the commission of a crime includes certain kinds of egregious conduct. The guidelines define such egregious conduct in a way that allows the sentencing judge to enhance the defendant's sentence twice for the same conduct—once as a "characteristic" of the specific offense for which the defendant is convicted and again under a general "adjustments" section. The federal circuit courts are divided concerning whether the guidelines permit double counting. This Comment examines the courts' differing interpretations of the governing statutes and concludes that the guidelines do not permit double counting unless explicitly stated in the sentencing guidelines.

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