In the summer of 2022, various aspects of the federal sentencing world seemed frozen in time. The U.S. Sentencing Commission couldn’t respond to vital legislative or practical developments because it lacked a quorum, as it had for more than three years. Meanwhile, federal prosecutors were operating under aging, interim charging, pleas, and sentencing guidelines, issued barely a week after President Biden took office, that revived former Attorney General Holder’s 2010 policies. But, in just a matter of months, the federal system has gone from a holding pattern to warp speed. When considered along with continued, thoughtful sentencing developments in the states, American sentencing law and practice in early 2023 could be seen as now living life in the fast lane.

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