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Full-Text Articles in Law

Sorting Guilty Minds, Owen D. Jones, Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Joshua D. Greene, Rene Marois Apr 2019

Sorting Guilty Minds, Owen D. Jones, Francis X. Shen, Morris B. Hoffman, Joshua D. Greene, Rene Marois

Owen Jones

Because punishable guilt requires that bad thoughts accompany bad acts, the Model Penal Code (MPC) typically requires that jurors infer the past mental state of a criminal defendant. More specifically, jurors must sort that mental state into one of four specific categories - purposeful, knowing, reckless, or negligent - which in turn defines the nature of the crime and the extent of the punishment. The MPC therefore assumes that ordinary people naturally sort mental states into these four categories with a high degree of accuracy, or at least can reliably do so when properly instructed. It also assumes that ordinary people will ...


No Indeterminate Sentencing Without Parole, Katherine Puzauskas, Kevin Morrow Mar 2019

No Indeterminate Sentencing Without Parole, Katherine Puzauskas, Kevin Morrow

Ohio Northern University Law Review

This article looks critically at the indeterminate sentencing system that survived after the elimination of parole in Arizona in 1993. It begins by exploring the purpose and history of indeterminate sentencing and parole as well as its earliest constitutional challenges and eventual decline. Next it compares two commonly confused forms of “release”: parole and executive clemency. The article then examines the three types of defendants affected by indeterminate sentences without parole: death row defendants denied parole eligibility instructions at trial, defendants sentenced with parole at trial, and defendants whose plea agreement includes parole. Finally, the article argues that without parole ...


Sentence For The Damned: Using Atkins To Understand The “Irreparable Corruption” Standard For Juvenile Life Without Parole, Zachary Crawford-Pechukas Feb 2019

Sentence For The Damned: Using Atkins To Understand The “Irreparable Corruption” Standard For Juvenile Life Without Parole, Zachary Crawford-Pechukas

Washington and Lee Law Review

This Note suggests that guidance should be drawn from the Supreme Court’s death penalty jurisprudence regarding the execution of intellectually disabled offenders. Atkins v. Virginia paved the way for the juvenile sentencing cases as the Supreme Court for the first time found that, under the Eighth Amendment, a selected class of offenders—the intellectually disabled — were not eligible for the state’s harshest penalty—the death penalty— because of their diminished culpability. Atkins similarly left the state courts to figure out how to decide whether an individual offender met this amorphous standard, “intellectually disabled.” As state courts grappled with ...


The Effects Of Holistic Defense On Criminal Justice Outcomes, James Anderson, Maya Buenaventura, Paul Heaton Jan 2019

The Effects Of Holistic Defense On Criminal Justice Outcomes, James Anderson, Maya Buenaventura, Paul Heaton

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

No abstract provided.


Sb 407 - Sentencing And Punishment, Abigail L. Howd, Alisa M. Radut Dec 2018

Sb 407 - Sentencing And Punishment, Abigail L. Howd, Alisa M. Radut

Georgia State University Law Review

The Act provides comprehensive reform for offenders entering, proceeding through, and leaving the criminal justice system. The Act requires all superior court clerks to provide an electronic filing option, and it requires juvenile court clerks to collect and report certain data about juvenile offenders to the Juvenile Data Exchange. In addition, the Act creates the Criminal Justice Coordinating Council and the Criminal Case Data Exchange Board. The Act also changes the grounds for granting and revoking professional licenses and drivers’ licenses to offenders and modifies the provisions relating to issuing citations and setting bail. Inmates of any public institution may ...


Habeas Corpus And State Sentencing Reform: A Story Of Unintended Consequences, Nancy J. King, Suzanna Sherry Oct 2018

Habeas Corpus And State Sentencing Reform: A Story Of Unintended Consequences, Nancy J. King, Suzanna Sherry

Suzanna Sherry

This Article tells the story of how fundamental shifts in state sentencing policy collided with fundamental shifts in federal habeas policy to produce a tangled and costly doctrinal wreck. The conventional assumption is that state prisoners seeking habeas relief allege constitutional errors in their state court convictions and sentences. But almost 20 percent of federal habeas petitions filed by noncapital state prisoners do not challenge state court judgments. They instead attack administrative actions by state prison officials or parole boards, actions taken long after the petitioner's conviction and sentencing. Challenges to these administrative decisions create serious problems for federal ...


“Second Looks, Second Chances”: Collaborating With Lifers On A Video About Commutation Of Lwop Sentences, Regina Austin Oct 2018

“Second Looks, Second Chances”: Collaborating With Lifers On A Video About Commutation Of Lwop Sentences, Regina Austin

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

In Pennsylvania, life means life without the possibility of parole (“LWOP”) or “death by incarceration.” Although executive commutation offers long serving rehabilitated lifers hope of release, in the past 20 years, only 8 commutations have been granted by the state’s governors. This article describes the collaboration between an organization of incarcerated persons serving LWOP and the law-school-based Penn Program on Documentaries and the Law that produced a video supporting increased commutations for Pennsylvania lifers. The article details the methodology of collaborative videomaking employed, the strategic decisions over content that were impacted by the politics of commutation, and the contributions ...


Ensuring That Punishment Does, In Fact, Fit The Crime, Meredith D. Mcphail Oct 2018

Ensuring That Punishment Does, In Fact, Fit The Crime, Meredith D. Mcphail

University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform

The United States imprisons a greater proportion of its own population than any other country in the world.2 A legal framework provides protections for those individuals who are incarcerated, but that framework is flawed. The jurisprudence distinguishes pretrial detainees (who have not been convicted) from convicted persons (who are serving a sentence).3 Based on that distinction, different standards apply to conditions of confinement and use of force cases brought by pretrial detainees and those brought by convicted persons.4 That distinction–and the resulting disparate application of legal standards–does not comport with the reality of incarceration, the ...


Judicious Imprisonment, Gregory Jay Hall Sep 2018

Judicious Imprisonment, Gregory Jay Hall

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

Starting August 21, 2018, Americans incarcerated across the United States have been striking back — non-violently. Inmates with jobs are protesting slave-like wages through worker strikes and sit-ins. Inmates also call for an end to racial disparities and an increase in rehabilitation programs. Even more surprisingly, many inmates have begun hunger strikes. Inmates are protesting the numerous ills of prisons: overcrowding, inadequate health care, abysmal mental health care contributing to inmate suicide, violence, disenfranchisement of inmates, and more. While recent reforms have slightly decreased mass incarceration, the current White House administration could likely reverse this trend. President Donald Trump’s and ...


Deploying The Secret Police: The Use Of Algorithms In The Criminal Justice System, Jessica Gabel Cino Aug 2018

Deploying The Secret Police: The Use Of Algorithms In The Criminal Justice System, Jessica Gabel Cino

Georgia State University Law Review

Algorithms saturate our lives today; from curated song lists to recommending “friends” and news feeds, they factor into some of the most human aspects of decision-making, tapping into preferences based on an ever-growing amount of data. Regardless of whether the algorithm pertains to routing you around traffic jams or finding your next dinner, there is little regulation and even less transparency regarding just how these algorithms work. Paralleling this societal adoption, the criminal justice system now employs algorithms in some of the most important aspects of investigation and decision-making.

The lack of oversight is abundantly apparent in the criminal justice ...


The First Amendment Case For Public Access To Secret Algorithms Used In Criminal Trials, Vera Eidelman Aug 2018

The First Amendment Case For Public Access To Secret Algorithms Used In Criminal Trials, Vera Eidelman

Georgia State University Law Review

As this Article sets forth, once a computerized algorithm is used by the government, constitutional rights may attach. And, at the very least, those rights require that algorithms used by the government as evidence in criminal trials be made available—both to litigants and the public. Scholars have discussed how the government’s refusal to disclose such algorithms runs afoul of defendants’ constitutional rights, but few have considered the public’s interest in these algorithms—or the widespread impact that public disclosure and auditing could have on ensuring their quality.

This Article aims to add to that discussion by setting ...


Garbage In, Garbage Out: Revising Strickland As Applied To Forensic Science Evidence, Mark Loudon-Brown Aug 2018

Garbage In, Garbage Out: Revising Strickland As Applied To Forensic Science Evidence, Mark Loudon-Brown

Georgia State University Law Review

Sophisticated scientific evidence may be an undesirable subject matter for a judge to tackle anew, and it can be even more daunting for a defense attorney to confront, particularly one faced with a crushing caseload. It can be tempting to avoid a challenge to a vulnerable forensic science discipline—be it new, novel, or simply recently called into question—when a lawyer reasonably believes that the evidence will be admitted regardless.

Worse still, it may seem reasonable to disregard any adversarial challenge to incriminatory science altogether, and to opt instead for a different defense or to encourage a guilty plea ...


The Past, Present, And Future Of The Mitigation Profession: Fulfilling The Constitutional Requirement Of Individualized Sentencing In Capital Cases, Russell Stetler Jun 2018

The Past, Present, And Future Of The Mitigation Profession: Fulfilling The Constitutional Requirement Of Individualized Sentencing In Capital Cases, Russell Stetler

Hofstra Law Review

No abstract provided.


Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas Jun 2018

Wrong Turn On The Ex Post Facto Clause, Paul D. Reingold, Kimberly Thomas

Articles

The Ex Post Facto Clause bars any increase in punishment after the commission of a crime. But deciding what constitutes an increase in punishment can be tricky. At the front end of a criminal case, where new or amended criminal laws might lengthen prisoners’ sentences if applied retroactively, courts have routinely struck down such changes under the Ex Post Facto Clause. At the back end, however, where new or amended parole laws or policies might lengthen prisoners’ sentences in exactly the same way if applied retroactively, courts have used a different standard and upheld the changes under the Ex Post ...


An End To Arbitrary And Capricious Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Henry D. Stegner Apr 2018

An End To Arbitrary And Capricious Federal Sentencing Guidelines, Henry D. Stegner

Idaho Law Review

No abstract provided.


What Is Life? Geriatric Release And The Conflicting Definitions Of “Meaningful Opportunity For Release”, Anthony Gunst Apr 2018

What Is Life? Geriatric Release And The Conflicting Definitions Of “Meaningful Opportunity For Release”, Anthony Gunst

Washington and Lee Journal of Civil Rights and Social Justice

No abstract provided.


Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer Apr 2018

Criminal Justice And The Mattering Of Lives, Deborah Tuerkheimer

Michigan Law Review

A review of James Forman Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America.


Books Have The Power To Shape Public Policy, Barbara Mcquade Apr 2018

Books Have The Power To Shape Public Policy, Barbara Mcquade

Michigan Law Review

In our digital information age, news and ideas come at us constantly and from every direction—newspapers, cable television, podcasts, online media, and more. It can be difficult to keep up with the fleeting and ephemeral news of the day.

Books, on the other hand, provide a source of enduring ideas. Books contain the researched hypotheses, the well-developed theories, and the fully formed arguments that outlast the news and analysis of the moment, preserved for the ages on the written page, to be discussed, admired, criticized, or supplanted by generations to come.

And books about the law, like the ones ...


Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin Apr 2018

Reassessing Prosecutorial Power Through The Lens Of Mass Incarceration, Jeffrey Bellin

Michigan Law Review

A review of John F. Pfaff, Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration - And How to Achieve Real Reform.


The Limits Of Law In The Evaluation Of Mitigating Evidence, Emad H. Atiq, Erin L. Miller Apr 2018

The Limits Of Law In The Evaluation Of Mitigating Evidence, Emad H. Atiq, Erin L. Miller

Cornell Law Faculty Publications

Capital sentencers are constitutionally required to "consider" any mitigating evidence presented by the defense. Under Lockett v. Ohio and its progeny, neither statutes nor common law can exclude mitigating factors from the sentencer's consideration or place conditions on when such factors may be considered. We argue that the principle underlying this line of doctrine is broader than courts have so far recognized. A natural starting point for our analysis is judicial treatment of evidence that the defendant suffered severe environmental deprivation ("SED"), such as egregious child abuse or poverty. SED has played a central role in the Court's ...


All Bathwater, No Baby: Expressive Theories Of Punishment And The Death Penalty, Susan A. Bandes Apr 2018

All Bathwater, No Baby: Expressive Theories Of Punishment And The Death Penalty, Susan A. Bandes

Michigan Law Review

A review of Carol S. Steiker and Jordan M. Steiker, Courting Death: The Supreme Court and Capital Punishment.


Informed Misdemeanor Sentencing, Jenny Roberts Feb 2018

Informed Misdemeanor Sentencing, Jenny Roberts

Hofstra Law Review

No abstract provided.


Principles Of Risk Assessment: Sentencing And Policing, Christopher Slobogin Jan 2018

Principles Of Risk Assessment: Sentencing And Policing, Christopher Slobogin

Vanderbilt Law School Faculty Publications

Risk assessment — measuring an individual’s potential for offending — has long been an important aspect of criminal justice, especially in connection with sentencing, pretrial detention and police decision-making. To aid in the risk assessment inquiry, a number of states have recently begun relying on statistically-derived algorithms called “risk assessment instruments” (RAIs). RAIs are generally thought to be more accurate than the type of seat-of-the-pants risk assessment in which judges, parole boards and police officers have traditionally engaged. But RAIs bring with them their own set of controversies. In recognition of these concerns, this brief paper proposes three principles — the fit ...


The Developing Brain: New Directions In Science, Policy, And Law, Susan Frelich Appleton, Deanna M. Barch, Anneliese M. Schaefer Jan 2018

The Developing Brain: New Directions In Science, Policy, And Law, Susan Frelich Appleton, Deanna M. Barch, Anneliese M. Schaefer

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

No abstract provided.


Brain Development, Social Context, And Justice Policy, Elizabeth Scott, Natasha Duell, Laurence Steinberg Jan 2018

Brain Development, Social Context, And Justice Policy, Elizabeth Scott, Natasha Duell, Laurence Steinberg

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

This article examines the role played by biological and psychological factors associated with adolescent criminal activity in the context of justice policy reform and its critics. Scott, Duell, and Steinberg assert that risk-taking behavior in adolescence is not solely associated with biological and psychological immaturity, but rather exists as a dynamic interaction between those factors and the individual social context. This interactive model of juvenile offending supports the trend of treating juveniles differently than adults in the criminal justice system and clarifies how correctional programs are crucial in either undermining or promoting healthy development in adolescents.


Justice In The Jury: The Benefits Of Allowing Felons To Serve On Juries In Criminal Proceedings, Sharion Scott Jan 2018

Justice In The Jury: The Benefits Of Allowing Felons To Serve On Juries In Criminal Proceedings, Sharion Scott

Washington University Journal of Law & Policy

This note by Sharion Scott highlights an often-ignored remnant of the old common law concept of civil death wherein a felony conviction carried with it the revocation of civil rights long after a sentence was served. Specifically, Scott points to the fact that thirty-one states exclude felons from serving on juries. Scott argues that where a disproportionate number of incarcerated people are black, the practice of excluding felons from jury duty perpetuates the underrepresentation of minorities on juries and exacerbates jury bias. Scott argues that jury service should be open to felony offenders who have completed their sentences and desire ...


The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson Jan 2018

The Subversions And Perversions Of Shadow Vigilantism, Paul H. Robinson, Sarah M. Robinson

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This excerpt from the recently published Shadow Vigilantes book argues that, while vigilantism, even moral vigilantism, can be dangerous to a society, the real danger is not of hordes of citizens, frustrated by the system’s doctrines of disillusionment, rising up to take the law into their own hands. Frustration can spark a vigilante impulse, but such classic aggressive vigilantism is not the typical response. More common is the expression of disillusionment in less brazen ways by a more surreptitious undermining and distortion of the operation of the criminal justice system.

Shadow vigilantes, as they might be called, can affect ...


Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse Jan 2018

Mental Disorder And Criminal Justice, Stephen J. Morse

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Law

This paper is a chapter that will appear in REFORMING CRIMINAL JUSTICE: A REPORT OF THE ACADEMY FOR JUSTICE BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN SCHOLARSHIP AND REFORM (Erik Luna ed., Academy for Justice 2018). The criminal law treats some people with severe mental disorders doctrinally and practically differently at virtually every stage of the criminal justice process, beginning with potential incompetence to stand trial and ending with the question of competence to be executed, and such people have special needs when they are in the system. This chapter begins by exploring the fundamental mental health information necessary to make informed judgements ...


How Defendant Characteristics Affect Sentencing And Conviction In The Us, Payton Kuenzli Jan 2018

How Defendant Characteristics Affect Sentencing And Conviction In The Us, Payton Kuenzli

Honors Undergraduate Theses

This research study analyzes whether or not there is any relationship between sentencing and conviction and certain defendant characteristics in the US legal system. In the midst of a time where the nation is strongly divided politically, the topic is often the center of research projects and discussions in academic journals. Specifically, this research explores the 3 characteristics- race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Within this article, multiple case studies from other journals are cited in which research and experiments have suggested that these factors do have influence on both whether or not a defendant gets convicted or for how long ...


Remorse Bias, M. Eve Hanan Jan 2018

Remorse Bias, M. Eve Hanan

Scholarly Works

In this article, Professor M. Eve Hanan addresses how implicit cognitive biases may affect judges when they decide whether to credit defendants' displays of remorse and how we can lessen the effects of that bias. Part I of this article introduces the main ideas to be discussed. Part II establishes the salience of remorse to punishment decisions and then demonstrates the ambiguity involved in assessing the sincerity of remorse. Part III examines existing research on implicit biases associating African Americans with criminality to consider whether judges are likely to view African American defendants' expressions of remorse as insincere and, thus ...