Around 2007 time frame I attended a CLE regarding federal criminal defense at the New York County Lawyers Association. There was a panel of federal judges to include Judge John Gleason. One of the speakers stated that the older federal judges hated the sentencing guidelines, but that the newer judges loved the guidelines. He attributed this to the fact that many new federal judges came from big name law firms where they did not engage in criminal defense. They wanted guidance. Perhaps the gravitational pull of the guidelines is a security blanket that allows some judges the confidence to render sentences without feeling guilty. Maybe its because by the time a defendant gets to criminal court in the federal system its because they have already proven themselves to be incorrigible to the point that the state system can’t effectively deal with them. This all may lead to the next question, which strikes me as whether we are overusing the federal courts to deal with crimes that should best be left to the state system.