Policy on Information Assistance on Pending Cases

In reference to requests for Commission staff to provide advice about guidelines interpretation and application to pending cases, the Sentencing Commission has stated that:

  • Judges' consideration of the sentencing guidelines is voluntary,
  • Commission staff has no authority to offer interpretations of applications of the guidelines to pending cases, and
  • Commission staff is not to provide assistance in completion of guidelines worksheets for particular cases beyond identifying proper offense seriousness categories or the location of subject matter in the guidelines manual.