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Compliance Programs Should Upgrade To New Standard

Chilton Brian S. | December 21, 2004

As most public company executives already know, The United States Sentencing Commission's revised federal sentencing guidelines, which have been effective since Nov. 1, require businesses to maintain "effective" compliance programs that prevent and detect violations of law.

And just as many companies were diligently altering their compliance programs to meet the amendment's new requirements, the USSC guidelines were placed in a state of limbo. On June 24, in a case widely known as "The Blakely Case," the United States Supreme Court held that Washington state's sentencing guidelines violated a defendant's Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial because the judge increased his sentence with evidence not presented to the jury.

And because the federal sentencing guidelines are similar to those reviewed in Blakely, the federal scheme became constitutionally suspect. On Oct. 4, the Supreme Court heard argument in two cases to decide whether the...

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