Before the mid-1980s, sentences for so-called “white-collar”
crimes tended to be lax, with no formal or generally accepted
rules or guidelines for judges to follow. But a series of events,
including several high-profile insider trading scandals, prompted Congress
to pass the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, which enacted the
guidelines for crimes committed after 1987 and abolished parole for federal offenses. The guidelines, as passed, were mandatory and applied to all federal sentences, ...