Amendment: Section 2A1.4(a)(1) is amended by striking "10" and inserting "12".
Section 2A1.4(a)(2) is amended by striking "14" and inserting "18".
Reason for Amendment: This amendment responds to a concern that the federal sentencing guidelines do not adequately reflect the seriousness of involuntary manslaughter offenses. Specifically, the Department of Justice, some members of Congress, and an ad hoc advisory group formed by the Commission to address Native American sentencing guideline issues expressed concern that most federal involuntary manslaughter cases involve vehicular homicides, which analysis of Commission data confirmed. These commentators also indicated that these offenses appear to be underpunished, particularly when compared to comparable cases arising under state law. This disparity with state punishments has been confirmed by studies undertaken by the Commission. In addition, Congress increased the maximum statutory penalty for involuntary manslaughter from three to six years’ imprisonment in 1994.
In response to these concerns and the Commission’s analysis, this amendment increases the base offense level in §2A1.4(a)(2) for reckless involuntary manslaughter offenses from level 14 to level 18. This four level increase corresponds to an approximate 50 percent increase in sentence length for these offenses. This amendment also increases the base offense level in §2A4.1(a)(1) for criminally negligent involuntary manslaughter offenses from level 10 to level 12. The two level increase represents an approximate 25 percent increase in the sentence length for these offenses.
Effective Date: The effective date of this amendment is November 1, 2003.