Supreme Court decision means changes for sentencing guidelines

LANSING — Given enough time, almost everything changes, including the criminal justice system.

A recent decision in Michigan’s Supreme Court will alter the way Sentencing Guidelines are applied to those convicted of a felony. According to documentation found on the Michigan Courts website, the majority opinion in the case of the State versus Rahim Lockridge concluded that the idea of requiring a mandatory minimum sentence based on the guidelines violates the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

As a result, judges will no longer be required to give a substantial and compelling reason for departure from the guidelines when delivering a sentence.