NewYorkUniversity
LawReview
Current Issue

Volume 79, Number 4

October 2004

The Domestic Dog’s Foreign Tail: Foreign Relevant Conduct Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines

Valerie S. Roddy

In this Note, Valerie Roddy studies the continuing hesitancy of U.S. courts to include foreign relevant conduct in federal sentences, despite the expansive inclusion of domestic relevant conduct. Roddy analyzes the courts’ principal concerns and concludes that the distinctions that courts are drawing between foreign and domestic relevant conduct are illusory. She argues that to achieve consistency in sentencing and proportional sentencing for international defendants, foreign and domestic conduct must be treated identically. Finally, she contends that distinguishing foreign relevant conduct and subjecting it to a special analysis is best viewed as a means of retaining a measure of discretion in a federal sentencing system struggling with both the potent effect of relevant conduct on sentences and the shrinking judicial discretion over sentences.