March 01, 2015

Sua Sponte: A Judge Comments

A judge comments on the difficulty of devising appropriate sentences.

Hon. Virginia M. Kendall

Ask any district court judge about her most difficult job and chances are high she will say sentencing. This is no small statement considering the average judge in Chicago, where I sit, gets one newly filed civil case each day, decides hundreds of motions each year, and presides over tens of trials during the same time period. Yet sentencing has its own weight —a burden that lands personally on each judge with a heft that has rarely been documented or assessed.

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