Wake Forest Law Review
Minnesota's experience with sentencing guidelines remains critically important to legislators and sentencing reformers in other jurisdictions. Minnesota adopted the first commission-based presumptive sentencing system in 1980, and its Guidelines 1 have been the focus of exhaustive study. 2 The Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission has routinely collected extensive data on all felony sentences, as well as more detailed data on selected sentencing samples. 3 This rich source of data and commentary, coupled with a considerable appellate caselaw interpreting the Guidelines and over a decade of legislative and Commission-initiated amendments, provides invaluable lessons concerning the processes by which commission-based guidelines are drafted, implemented, and evolve over time.
Richard Frase, The Role of the Legislature, the Sentencing Commission, and Other Officials under the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines, 28 Wake Forest L. Rev. 345 (1993), available at http://scholarship.law.umn.edu/faculty_articles/461.