Criminal Law

Other Grounds for Departure - Departures - Determining the Sentence

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§5K2.19GUIDELINES MANUALNovember 1, 2005

significantly reduced mental capacity was caused by the voluntary use of drugs or other intoxicants; (2) the facts and circumstances of the defendant’s offense indicate a need to protect the public because the offense involved actual violence or a serious threat of violence; (3) the defendant’s criminal history indicates a need to incarcerate the defendant to protect the public; or (4) the defendant has been convicted of an offense under chapter 71, 109A, 110, or 117, of title 18, United States Code.


Application Note:

1. For purposes of this policy statement—

"Significantly reduced mental capacity" means the defendant, although convicted, has a significantly impaired ability to (A) understand the wrongfulness of the behavior comprising the offense or to exercise the power of reason; or (B) control behavior that the defendant knows is wrongful.

Background: Section 401(b)(5) of Public Law 108–21 directly amended this policy statement to add subdivision (4), effective April 30, 2003.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 1998 (see Appendix C, amendment 583); April 30, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 649); October 27, 2003 (see Appendix C, amendment 651); November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 674).

§5K2.14. Public Welfare (Policy Statement)

If national security, public health, or safety was significantly endangered, the court may depart upward to reflect the nature and circumstances of the offense.

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1987. Amended effective November 1, 2004 (see Appendix C, amendment 674).

§5K2.15. [Deleted]

Historical Note:: Effective November 1, 1989 (see Appendix C, amendment 292), was deleted effective November 1, 1995 (see Appendix C, amendment 526).

§5K2.16. Voluntary Disclosure of Offense (Policy Statement)

If the defendant voluntarily discloses to authorities the existence of, and accepts responsibility for, the offense prior to the discovery of such offense, and if such offense was unlikely to have been discovered otherwise, a downward departure may be warranted. For example, a downward departure under this section might be considered where a defendant, motivated by remorse, discloses an offense that otherwise would have remained undiscovered. This provision does not apply where the motivating factor is the defendant’s knowledge that discovery of the offense is likely or imminent, or where the defendant’s disclosure occurs in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the

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