Sentencing Practice Talk

Sentencing Practice Talk, a Podcast Series

Brought to you by the Office of Education & Sentencing Practice, Sentencing Practice Talk is a podcast series designed to inform those interested in federal sentencing on guideline application issues. Topics range from frequently asked questions on the HelpLine, to sentencing practice tips, to recent case law developments. The information presented is intended to aid those involved in federal sentencing in the proper application of the guidelines and relevant case law. It does not represent the official position of the Commission and should not be cited as such. Listeners are advised to conduct their own independent research.

All Other Episodes

All Episodes

Mini-Series Episode 22.3: Anticipated State Terms of Imprisonment, Other Undischarged Terms, and Discharged Terms
This episode will complete the discussion about §5G1.3. Does the guideline apply to anticipated state terms of imprisonment? Is there any relief for a defendant who has a discharged term of imprisonment that is relevant conduct to the instant offense? What if I have a unique or complicated situation? We aim to answer all of your questions about §5G1.3. (Published June 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 22.2: Imposing a Sentence When the Instant Offense was Committed While Serving a Term of Imprisonment or When the Undischarged Term is Relevant Conduct
This episode will focus on sections (a) and (b) of §5G1.3. How does the court impose a sentence for the offense when the undischarged term is for an offense that is part of relevant conduct for the federal offense? Does the defendant get any credit for the time that has already been served? What, if any, role does the Bureau of Prisons have in the process? Tune in and find out. (Published June 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 22.1: Overview of §5G1.3
What is the purpose of §5G1.3? In this episode, we’ll review the structure of the guideline that governs whether to impose concurrent or consecutive sentences when the defendant also has an undischarged term of imprisonment for another offense. (Published June 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 21.3: Hacking, Phishing, Malware
You may have heard of hacking and phishing schemes. How do those terms relate to the guidelines, and what information will I need to apply the guidelines correctly? We will explore real cases and the complex issues that have surfaced in some of these cases. (Published March 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 21.2: Bitcoin
This podcast will explore cryptocurrency and specifically Bitcoin. Why has it become such a commodity for criminals and how are they using it to commit crimes? Also, we will look at various guideline issues pertaining to cases in which Bitcoin is used. (Published March 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 21.1: The Dark Web
What is the Dark Web? This podcast will explain what it is, where it is, and how the guidelines are impacted by a variety of offenses committed on the dark web. (Published March 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.11: Final Thoughts
This last podcast in the series summarizes what was discussed and provides some parting thoughts on the categorical approach analysis. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.10: Why Do I Care About Divisibility?
This podcast discusses the impact of divisibility, how to conduct a “modified categorical approach”, and what “looking at the documents” does not mean. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.9: What Does Divisibility Really Mean?
This episode explores the difference between elements of a crime and means of committing a crime and provides tips on how to distinguish between them. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.8: Mathis and What It Tells Us About Divisibility
This episode demonstrates how to determine if a statute is divisible relying on the Supreme Court’s holding in Mathis v. U.S. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.7: How Do I Determine if the Offense Qualifies Under the List of Offenses in the Enumerated Clause?
This episode discusses the offenses specified in the definitions of “crime of violence” and “violent felony” and the analysis required to determine if an offense qualifies as a “crime of violence” or “violent felony” under the enumerated clause. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.6: Does this Statute Have an Element of Force?
This episode discusses the force clause of the definitions of “crime of violence” and “violent felony” and the analysis required to determine if an offense has, as an element, the use, attempted use, or threatened use of physical force against the person of another. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.5: "Crimes of Violence" and "Violent Felonies" – What Do These Words Mean?
This podcast discusses the statutory and guideline definitions used in the categorical approach analysis. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.4: Facts Don’t Matter and Neither Do Titles
This episode dives a bit deeper into the categorical approach analysis itself and provides key points to remember when conducting an analysis. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.3: When Do We Use It?
This episode discusses when federal courts use the categorical approach and will specifically identify the common statutes and guidelines where the analysis is used. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.2: What is the Categorical Approach, Anyway?
How did we get here? This podcast provides an overview of the origins of the categorical approach and how it became an important part of federal sentencing. (Published February 2019)


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Mini-Series Episode 20.1: Introduction to the Categorical Approach Series
This first episode introduces the series on the categorical approach analysis and will present an overview of the program and accompanying resources. (Published February 2019)


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Episode 19: The First Step Act of 2018
This podcast provides a general overview of the most recent bipartisan legislation addressing sentence reforms both on the front and back ends of the sentencing process. (Published February 2019)


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Episode 18: "Official Victim" in an Aggravated Assault Case
This podcast will discuss the interplay between the application of §2A2.2 (Aggravated Assault) and the Chapter Three Adjustment for Official Victim (§3A1.2) based on an unusual set of facts involving a road rage incident. (Published December 2018)


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Episode 17: The "Aggravating Role" Adjustment in Misprision of a Felony Case
Can a defendant convicted of misprision of a felony get an Aggravating Role Adjustment? Tune in to find out. (Published December 2018)


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Episode 16: How Do Revocations Impact Career Offender Status?
This podcast will discuss the impact of multiple revocations on predicates for Career Offender. (Published December 2018)


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Episode 15: What's the Guideline in a Drug Conspiracy Case That Resulted in More Than One Death?
With the rise of fentanyl-laced substances on the market, more and more drug conspiracies involve multiple deaths. Is there a way to account for this conduct in the application of §2D1.1? (Published December 2018)


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Episode 14: How Do You Determine Loss in a “Black Money” Scheme?
What is “black money” and how do you calculate loss in a “black money” scheme? This podcast will discuss the details of this interesting counterfeit scheme. (Published December 2018)


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Episode 13: What is the Effect of 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) on Weapons Enhancements?
When the defendant is convicted of using or possessing a firearm in furtherance of an underlying offense, the underlying offense itself, and felon in possession of a firearm, what do the guidelines say about applying weapons enhancements in Chapter Two and about grouping? (Published December 2018)


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Episode 12: What is a "Stipulation" as Defined in §1B1.2(a) and (c)?
Stipulations should not be a surprise! You can’t stumble your way into a stipulation. This podcast will discuss what the guidelines say about when and how to calculate the guidelines when there is a stipulation to other offenses. (Published December 2018)


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Episode 11: More Grouping in Child Pornography Production Cases
Can you group counts involving the same victim? Using the Multiple Counts Decision Tree, we will discuss how multiple counts involving the same victim will group. (Published December 2018)


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Episode 10: The Interplay of Multiple Revocations on Criminal History Scores
Do you have a defendant with multiple revocations on a prior sentence? How does this impact the scoring of criminal history points? Tune in to learn what Chapter Four says concerning multiple revocations. (Published December 2018)


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Episode 9: Money Laundering & Safety Valve
This podcast will review the application of the money laundering guideline, using an example in which the underlying offense is a drug trafficking offense and the defendant is safety-valve eligible. (Published September 2018)


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Episode 8: Base Offense Level 6 or 7 in U.S.S.G §2B1.1?
This podcast will review how to determine the appropriate Base Offense Level at §2B1.1. (Published September 2018)


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Episode 7: Undischarged Terms of Imprisonment
Undischarged terms of imprisonment can impact the way the court imposes a sentence. Learn how §5G1.3 operates as well as certain things to be mindful of. (Published September 2018)


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Episode 6: Grouping in Child Pornography Production Cases
This podcast will review grouping principles for multiple counts of production of child pornography offenses. (Published September 2018)


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Episode 5: Grouping Drugs, Robbery, & Burglary
This podcast will cover grouping under U.S.S.G §3D1.2(c) using an example from a real helpline call involving drugs, a robbery, and burglary. (Published September 2018)


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Episode 4: Grouping of Multiple Counts
This podcast will review grouping principles for offenses under the same guidelines under U.S.S.G §3D1.2(d). (Published September 2018)


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Episode 3: Relevant Conduct Principles in Child Pornography Offenses
In child pornography offenses, there are different relevant conduct principles depending on the offense of conviction. This podcast will review how relevant conduct operates for these offenses. (Published September 2018)


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Episode 2: Base Offense Level for "Conspiracy" Offense
What do the guidelines mean when they say “convicted of” a certain offense? Does that cover a conspiracy offense? Using a conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 1594(c) as an example, we will explain how to determine the base offense level under U.S.S.G §2G1.3. (Published September 2018)


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Episode 1: Revocations & Criminal History Points
Revocations can have a significant impact on criminal history scores. Learn how a revocation sentence can increase criminal history points and expand the time frame for calculating prior sentences. (Published September 2018)


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