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The Nation

December 08, 1987

President Reagan signed a sentencing reform bill that revises a 1984 law designed to eliminate the disparity in criminal sentences. Reagan said he interpreted the law that he signed as applying to offenses that "began prior to but not completed until on or after" Nov. 1. He said the bill modifies the section that gives judges some flexibility in imposing sentences. The change in the act authorizes the court to depart from the guidelines if there exists such a circumstance "of a kind or to a degree" not adequately taken into consideration by the sentencing commission that formulated the guidelines, Reagan said.

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