The judges of the United States courts long have been concerned with the improvement of the administration of criminal justice in the federal courts. Over the years one problem in particular—the wide-spread differences in sentencing philosophies and practices—has eluded solution. Deliberations of the Judicial Conference of Senior Circuit Judges jointly with the Committee on the Administration of the Criminal Law of the Judicial Conference of the United States gave rise to a proposal for legislation to permit the establishment of institutes and joint councils on sentencing. Legislation (H.R.J. Res. 424) was approved by the President on August 25, 1958, as Public Law 85-752 to authorize the establishment of institutes and joint councils on sentencing. The first sentencing institute was convened at Boulder, Colorado, in July 1959. Considerable progress has since been made toward the objectives envisioned by the drafters of the sentencing institute legislation. We cannot expect to achieve uniformity of sentences but rather uniformity of procedures. The result to be sought is punishment to fit the individual, not punishment to fit the crime, and thus justice under science rather than justice under law.
Luther W. Youngdahl,
Development and Accomplishments of Sentencing Institutes in the Federal Judicial System,
45 Neb. L. Rev. 513
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