Proposed 2019 Amendments to the Federal Sentencing Guidelines [open to public comments!]

[ – 12/13/19]

During a public meeting this morning, the U.S. Sentencing Commission voted to publish for comment proposed amendments to the federal sentencing guidelines, including a proposal concerning how sentencing courts determine if a prior conviction is a “crime of violence” under the guidelines. (Read proposals and press release.)

Today’s proposed amendment would enable the sentencing courts to consider the conduct that formed the basis of the offense of conviction as well as the elements of the statute of conviction. The Commission is requesting input on this proposal and the appropriate sources of information the courts might use to ensure that clear and reliable evidence of prior violent conduct is accounted for at sentencing.

Other amendments were also proposed today, including amendments addressing other issues related to the guidelines. 

In his remarks today, Acting Chair Pryor recognized the many contributions that Commissioner Barkow has made during her 5-year tenure as a Commissioner. “Her steadfast commitment to fair sentencing and quick ability to process sentencing data served the Commission and the public well. Commissioner Barkow, thank you for your service.” said Acting Chair Pryor. (Read Chair’s remarks.)

Acting Chair Pryor also provided an update at the meeting on the Commission’s top priority this amendment cycle—examining the current federal sentencing system and operation of the guidelines.  

Today’s proposed amendments are drawn from the final policy priorities approved in August 2018. A public comment period on the newly proposed amendments will open December 17, 2018 and close February 19, 2019, with a reply period ending on March 15, 2019. The public is invited to submit comment to, or via regular mail. 

Read the official page and write a comment


Summary: This compilation contains preliminary unofficial text of proposed amendments to the sentencing guidelines and is provided only for the convenience of the user in the preparation of public comment. Official text of the proposed amendments can be found on the Commission’s website at and will appear in an upcoming edition of the Federal Register.

Written public comment should be received by the Commission not later than February 19, 2019. Written reply comments, which may respond to issues raised during the original comment period, should be received by the Commission not later than March 15, 2019.

All written comment should be sent to the Commission by electronic mail or regular mail. The email address for public comment is (link sends e-mail). The regular mail address for public comment is United States Sentencing Commission, One Columbus Circle, N.E., Suite 2-500, Washington, D.C. 20002-8002, Attention: Public Affairs. For further information, see the full contents of the official notice published in the Federal Register (available at


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