By the time someone reaches the court system, many factors have already been in play to their personal detriment -- and criminal court seems to be the final straw. Even persons who have never been involved in a court case before who now find themselves in harm's way are human beings with complex lives and circumstances leading to the situation they are now in and have to be considered in fairness and in justice.
With the right arguments, Judges can be swayed by factors that proactively benefit a defendant in federal court.
Fortunately, 3553(a) factors are a mitigating resource for my client's benefit. To address 3553a factors, resolutions might include improved education, counseling, live in treatment, probation, vocational training or even medical care. I have seen the use of 3553a factors for white collar professionals who, while economically successful, have personal histories that have contributed to their current legal problems. What has led them to this current crisis? It's important to have a team of professionals that I monitor who can identify the most effective 3553a factors that will lead to a result that might be better than ever imagined.
It is preferable for the justice system to utilize alternatives to the ultimate punishment of incarceration. Most logical persons understand the need for mercy if it doesn't impact other people's safety, which is the court's primary concern.