2015 Chapter 3 | United States Sentencing Commission

2. This adjustment is not intended to apply to a defendant who puts the government to its burden of proof at trial by denying the essential factual elements of guilt, is convicted, and only then admits guilt and expresses remorse. Conviction by trial, however, does not automatically preclude a defendant from consideration for such a reduction. In rare situations a defendant may clearly demonstrate an acceptance of responsibility for his criminal conduct even though he exercises his constitutional right to a trial. This may occur, for example, where a defendant goes to trial to assert and preserve issues that do not relate to factual guilt (e.g., to make a constitutional challenge to a statute or a challenge to the applicability of a statute to his conduct). In each such instance, however, a determination that a defendant has accepted responsibility will be based primarily upon pre-trial statements and conduct.

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This section refers the court to Chapter Five (Determining the Sentence) in order to determine the total punishment to be imposed based upon the combined offense level. The combined offense level is subject to adjustments from Chapter Three, Part E (Acceptance of Responsibility) and Chapter Four, Part B (Career Offenders and Criminal Livelihood).

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The submission/acceptance rate formula is preferred (one of the two recommended options in Perry & Michalski).

An article last Tuesday about a United Nations analysis that showed an “alarmingly high” level of violence against women and girls worldwide understated the cost of domestic violence against women and children as calculated by a separate study. It is $8 trillion, not $4 trillion. (Violence against women alone costs $4 trillion, the study said).

Sexual Violence Prevention Fact Sheet

5. Examples of Conduct Ordinarily Not Covered.—Some types of conduct ordinarily do not warrant application of this adjustment but may warrant a greater sentence within the otherwise applicable guideline range or affect the determination of whether other guideline adjustments apply (e.g., §3E1.1 (Acceptance of Responsibility)). However, if the defendant is convicted of a separate count for such conduct, this adjustment will apply and increase the offense level for the underlying offense (i.e., the offense with respect to which the obstructive conduct occurred). See Application Note 8, below.

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Final acceptance rates include R&R. Data for these titles each arose from two exchanges of detail; there is more on the detail of data collection on the front page & in responses to other comments. Wherever a data return appears unusual it has been queried, and titles which do not resolve the queries raised with them are not included in the listing.

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1. Do not apply this enhancement where the offense guideline in Chapter Two, or another adjustment in Chapter Three, results in an equivalent or greater increase in offense level solely on the basis of the same conduct.

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Essentially, the rules in this Part can be summarized as follows: (1) If the offense guidelines in Chapter Two base the offense level primarily on the amount of money or quantity of substance involved (e.g., theft, fraud, drug trafficking, firearms dealing), or otherwise contain provisions dealing with repetitive or ongoing misconduct (e.g., many environmental offenses), add the numerical quantities and apply the pertinent offense guideline, including any specific offense characteristics for the conduct taken as a whole. (2) When offenses are closely interrelated, group them together for purposes of the multiple-count rules, and use only the offense level for the most serious offense in that group. (3) As to other offenses (e.g., independent instances of assault or robbery), start with the offense level for the most serious count and use the number and severity of additional counts to determine the amount by which to increase that offense level.