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A First Step Back In Time?, Blake Jacobs Jan 2023

A First Step Back In Time?, Blake Jacobs

West Virginia Law Review

This Note discusses the implications of the United States Supreme Court’s holding in Concepcion v. United States, which left open whether district courts must reanalyze the 18 U.S.C.A. § 3553(a) factors when ruling on a motion to reduce a defendant’s sentence under the First Step Act. The decision settled a dispute between the First, Fifth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits, which did not require sentencing courts to consider intervening factual or legal developments; and the Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Tenth, and D.C. Circuits which did. However, the Supreme Court’s decision only obligates a district court to consider intervening …


Brief Of Professor Brandon Hasbrouck As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Appellant: Bell V. Streeval, Brandon Hasbrouck Jun 2022

Brief Of Professor Brandon Hasbrouck As Amicus Curiae In Support Of Appellant: Bell V. Streeval, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

The core question raised by this case is whether a federal prisoner serving an unconstitutional sentence can be foreclosed from post-conviction habeas relief by the gatekeeping provisions of § 2255. The Constitution answers that question in the negative through the Suspension Clause. “[F]reedom from unlawful restraint [i]s a fundamental precept of liberty,” and the writ of habeas corpus “a vital instrument to secure that freedom.” Boumediene, 553 U.S. at 739. The importance of the common law writ was such that the Framers specified that it could be suspended only in the most exigent circumstances. U.S. Const. art. I, § …


A (Partial And Principled) Defense Of Sentences Of Life Imprisonment, Mirko Bagaric, Jennifer Svilar Jun 2022

A (Partial And Principled) Defense Of Sentences Of Life Imprisonment, Mirko Bagaric, Jennifer Svilar

Cleveland State Law Review

There has been more than a five-fold increase in the number of life sentences in the United States over the past four decades. One in seven prisoners in the United States is serving a life (or virtual) life sentence. This amounts to over 200,000 prisoners. The increase has occurred against the backdrop of near universal condemnation by scholars and public policy advocates – many of whom are now advocating for the abolition of life sentences. Arguments that life sentences are not an effective deterrent or means of protecting the community have some merit. Yet, we argue that in a limited …


Modern Sentencing Mitigation, John B. Meixner Jr. Apr 2022

Modern Sentencing Mitigation, John B. Meixner Jr.

Northwestern University Law Review

Sentencing has become the most important part of a criminal case. Over the past century, criminal trials have given way almost entirely to pleas. Once a case is charged, it almost always ends up at sentencing. And notably, judges learn little sentencing-relevant information about the case or the defendant prior to sentencing and have significant discretion in sentencing decisions. Thus, sentencing is the primary opportunity for the defense to affect the outcome of the case by presenting mitigation: reasons why the nature of the offense or characteristics of the defendant warrant a lower sentence. It is surprising, then, that relatively …


Minimum Sentences, Maximum Suffering: A Proposal To Reform Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, Jordan Ramsey Apr 2022

Minimum Sentences, Maximum Suffering: A Proposal To Reform Mandatory Minimum Sentencing, Jordan Ramsey

Helm's School of Government Conference

This paper offers several proposals to reform mandatory minimum sentencing laws and asks how we can best uphold Freedom and the Rule of Law within sentencing law.


Examining Legal Financial Obligations In Washington State, Bryan Lewis Apr 2022

Examining Legal Financial Obligations In Washington State, Bryan Lewis

PPPA Paper Prize

After criminal offenders are convicted of a crime, they must return to the court where a judge will determine their sentence. Sentencing often includes jail time, but it always includes monetary penalties, or Legal Financial Obligations (LFOs). There are many reasons these penalties are given, from restitution for the victims of criminal offenses, to providing government revenue and funding the court, to punishment for the offender. However, these fines, and the interest rates that come with them, often leave offenders with an enormous amount of debt. There are a lot of interests at stake when it comes to LFO sentencing …


Drug Supervision, Jacob Schuman Jan 2022

Drug Supervision, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

Critics of harsh drug sentencing laws in the United States typically focus on long prison sentences. But the American criminal justice system also inflicts a significant volume of drug-related punishment through community supervision (probation, parole, and supervised release). Over one million people are under supervision due to a drug conviction, and drug activity is among the most common reasons for violations. In an age of “mass supervision,” community supervision is a major form of drug sentencing and drug policy.

In this Article, I analyze the federal system of supervised release as a form of drug policy. Congress created supervised release …


A Call To Dismantle Systemic Racism In Criminal Legal Systems, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Margaret C. Stevenson Jan 2022

A Call To Dismantle Systemic Racism In Criminal Legal Systems, Cynthia J. Najdowski, Margaret C. Stevenson

Psychology Faculty Scholarship

Objectives: In October 2021, APA passed a resolution addressing ways psychologists could work to dismantle systemic racism in criminal legal systems. The present report, developed to inform APA’s policy resolution, details the scope of the problem and offers recommendations for policy and psychologists to address the issue by advancing related science and practice. Specifically, it acknowledges the roots of modern-day racial and ethnic disparities in rates of criminalization and punishment for people of color as compared to White people. Next, the report reviews existing theory and research that helps explain the underlying psychological mechanisms driving racial and ethnic disparities …


Semmy Lasco Kavinga V The People Appeal No 51/2018 (21 August 2019), O'Brien Kaaba Nov 2021

Semmy Lasco Kavinga V The People Appeal No 51/2018 (21 August 2019), O'Brien Kaaba

SAIPAR Case Review

The law on sentencing in Zambia is to a great extent chaotic and in disarray. No clear standards are set by the superior courts to guide lower courts and litigants. Often the sentences are at variance with constitutional norms and there has been no sustained effort to align the law of sentencing with constitutional standards, save for a few cases concerning corporal punishment. Somehow, a judicial culture has evolved and continues to grow of sentencing people without regard for constitutional norms. Yet the constitution is the supreme law, the ultimate source of all law and ought to permeate all laws …


Sentencing By Ambush: An Insider's Perspective On Plea Bargaining Reform, Justice Michael P. Donnelly Jul 2021

Sentencing By Ambush: An Insider's Perspective On Plea Bargaining Reform, Justice Michael P. Donnelly

Akron Law Review

The vast majority of cases in our state criminal justice system are resolved not by proceeding to trial but through negotiated plea agreements. These are contracts between the government and the accused in which both sides are negotiating for some form of benefit in the ultimate resolution. In this article, Justice Donnelly exposes what he sees as a flaw in the system in the manner in which trial court judges oversee this process of negotiation. In a significant number of cases, the state induces defendants to enter into a guilty plea with no certain sentence, amounting to an illusory agreement …


After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne Jul 2021

After The Crime: Rewarding Offenders’ Positive Post-Offense Conduct, Paul H. Robinson, Muhammad Sarahne

Faculty Scholarship at Penn Carey Law

While an offender’s conduct before and during the crime is the traditional focus of criminal law and sentencing rules, an examination of post-offense conduct can also be important in promoting criminal justice goals. After the crime, different offenders make different choices and have different experiences, and those differences can suggest appropriately different treatment by judges, correctional officials, probation and parole supervisors, and other decision-makers in the criminal justice system.

Positive post-offense conduct ought to be acknowledged and rewarded, not only to encourage it but also as a matter of fair and just treatment. This essay describes four kinds of positive …


Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan S. Wright, Shima Baughman, Christopher Robertson Jul 2021

Inside The Black Box Of Prosecutor Discretion, Megan S. Wright, Shima Baughman, Christopher Robertson

Utah Law Faculty Scholarship

In their charging and bargaining decisions, prosecutors have unparalleled and nearly-unchecked discretion that leads to incarceration or freedom for millions of Americans each year. More than courts, legislators, or any other justice system player, in the aggregate prosecutors’ choices are the key drivers of outcomes, whether the rates of mass incarceration or the degree of racial disparities in justice. To date, there is precious little empirical research on how prosecutors exercise their breathtaking discretion. We do not know whether they consistently charge like cases alike or whether crime is in the eye of the beholder. We do not know what …


Criminal Advisory Juries: A Sensible Compromise For Jury Sentencing Advocates, Kurt A. Holtzman Apr 2021

Criminal Advisory Juries: A Sensible Compromise For Jury Sentencing Advocates, Kurt A. Holtzman

Northwestern Journal of Law & Social Policy

Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch recently noted that “juries in our constitutional order exercise supervisory authority over the judicial function by limiting the judge’s power to punish.” Yet in the majority of jurisdictions, contemporary judge-only sentencing practices neuter juries of their supervisory authority by divorcing punishment from guilt decisions. Moreover, without a chance to voice public disapproval at sentencing, juries are muted in their ability to express tailored, moral condemnation for distinct criminal acts. Although the modern aversion to jury sentencing is neither historically nor empirically justified, jury sentencing opponents are rightly cautious of abdicating sentencing power to laypeople. Nevertheless, …


Neither Seen Nor Heard: Surviving Children Of Domestic Homicide, Alexis Winfield Apr 2021

Neither Seen Nor Heard: Surviving Children Of Domestic Homicide, Alexis Winfield

Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Domestic homicide is a critical human rights issue that continues to impact women, children, and families in Canada. Between 2010-2018, 662 individuals died as a result of domestic homicide, many of whom were mothers who left surviving children behind. This study examined the experiences of surviving children prior to, during, and in the aftermath of domestic homicide through quantitative and qualitative court and media document analyses. It was found that 136 children in Ontario experienced domestic homicide between 2010-2017. Domestic homicide impacted surviving children in all domains of functioning and was often associated with long-term adverse outcomes. Court documents revealed …


Discretion And Disparity In Federal Detention, Stephanie Holmes Didwania Mar 2021

Discretion And Disparity In Federal Detention, Stephanie Holmes Didwania

Northwestern University Law Review

The uniquely American phenomenon of mass incarceration plagues the pretrial space. People awaiting trial make up roughly 20% of those held in criminal custody in the United States. Largely overlooked by bail-reform advocates, pretrial detention in the federal criminal system presents a puzzle. The federal system detains defendants at a much higher rate than the states—more than 60% of U.S. citizen-defendants were detained pending trial by federal courts last year. But federal defendants virtually never fail to appear in court, and they are rarely arrested for new crimes while on pretrial release. And unlike state court systems, cash bail is …


The Intersection Of Wrongful Convictions And Gender In Cases Where Women Were Sentenced To Death Or Life In Prison Without Parole, Connor F. Lang Feb 2021

The Intersection Of Wrongful Convictions And Gender In Cases Where Women Were Sentenced To Death Or Life In Prison Without Parole, Connor F. Lang

Michigan Journal of Gender & Law

This Note examines National Registry of Exonerations data and discusses the prevalence of false confessions and presence of a child victim in cases of women who were convicted of murder, received a serious sentence, and were later exonerated. After looking at the cases of women exonerated after receiving death sentences or life without parole sentences in light of the prevalence of these factors, this Note argues that examination of the cases reveals that the presence of a false confession or a child victim may have contributed to some of the wrongful convictions where these factors may have led to the …


The Just Prosecutor, Brandon Hasbrouck Jan 2021

The Just Prosecutor, Brandon Hasbrouck

Scholarly Articles

As the most powerful actors in our criminal legal system, prosecutors have been and remain one of the principal drivers of mass incarceration. This was and is by design. Prosecutorial power derives from our constitutional structure--prosecutors are given almost unfettered discretion to determine who to charge, what to charge, and, often, what the sentence will be. Within that structure, the prosecutor's duty is to ensure that justice is done. Yet, in exercising their outsized power, some prosecutors have fully embraced a secondary, adversarial role as a partisan advocate at the significant cost of seeking justice.

The necessary reforms of our …


George Floyd's Legacy: Reforming, Relating, And Rethinking Through Chauvin's Conviction And Appeal Under A Felony-Murder Doctrine Long-Weaponized Against People Of Color, Greg Egan Jan 2021

George Floyd's Legacy: Reforming, Relating, And Rethinking Through Chauvin's Conviction And Appeal Under A Felony-Murder Doctrine Long-Weaponized Against People Of Color, Greg Egan

Mitchell Hamline Law Review

No abstract provided.


Racial Bias Still Exists In Criminal Justice System? A Review Of Recent Empirical Research, Yu Du Jan 2021

Racial Bias Still Exists In Criminal Justice System? A Review Of Recent Empirical Research, Yu Du

Touro Law Review

The debate on whether racial bias is still embedded in the criminal justice (CJ) system today has reached its plateau. One recent article in the Washington Post has claimed an overwhelming evidence of racial bias in the CJ system. Whereas some scholars argue that racial disparity is an epitome of real crime rates, others indicate that implicit and/or explicit racial bias against Blacks held by law enforcement agents persists in the system. This review considers both supporting arguments and relevant counterarguments. After evaluating empirical and rigorous research during the past five years, the review maintains that racial bias still exists …


Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman Jan 2021

Revocation And Retribution, Jacob Schuman

Journal Articles

Revocation of community supervision is a defining feature of American criminal law. Nearly 4.5 million people in the United States are on parole, probation, or supervised release, and 1/3 eventually have their supervision revoked, sending 350,000 to prison each year. Academics, activists, and attorneys warn that “mass supervision” has become a powerful engine of mass incarceration.

This is the first Article to study theories of punishment in revocation of community supervision, focusing on the federal system of supervised release. Federal courts apply a primarily retributive theory of revocation, aiming to sanction defendants for their “breach of trust.” However, the structure, …


Redefining Sex Offenders: The Fight To Break The Bias Of Female Sex Offenders, Norma Hamilton Jan 2021

Redefining Sex Offenders: The Fight To Break The Bias Of Female Sex Offenders, Norma Hamilton

Journal of Race, Gender, and Ethnicity

No abstract provided.


Starting With Life: Murder Sentencing And Feminist Prison Abolitionist Praxis, Debra Parkes Jan 2021

Starting With Life: Murder Sentencing And Feminist Prison Abolitionist Praxis, Debra Parkes

All Faculty Publications

Advocates of decarcation often focus their critiques on imprisonment for non-violent offences. In this vein, current advocacy efforts to end mandatory sentences in Canada tend to carve out “serious violent offences” as not part of a reform agenda. In this chapter, Debra Parkes sketches out the contours of an argument for why feminists might not want to cede that ground, why anti-carceral feminism might involve centering our analysis on the most, rather than the least, serious crimes – starting with those who are serving life sentences for murder. Parkes identifies four non-exhaustive reasons for that focus. The first reason relates …


Law School News: Mike Andrews '97 Nominated To U.S. Court Of Federal Claims 12-15-2020, Michael M. Bowden Dec 2020

Law School News: Mike Andrews '97 Nominated To U.S. Court Of Federal Claims 12-15-2020, Michael M. Bowden

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


Criminal Procedure: Sentence And Punishment, Allison Kretovic, Insoo Lee Dec 2020

Criminal Procedure: Sentence And Punishment, Allison Kretovic, Insoo Lee

Georgia State University Law Review

The Act repeals certain provisions regarding the sentencing of defendants for crimes involving bias or prejudice and provides both criteria for punishment for those crimes and required reporting of those crimes.


Rwu Law News: The Newsletter Of Roger Williams University School Of Law 12-2020, Barry Bridges, Michael M. Bowden, Nicole Dyszlewski, Louisa Fredey Dec 2020

Rwu Law News: The Newsletter Of Roger Williams University School Of Law 12-2020, Barry Bridges, Michael M. Bowden, Nicole Dyszlewski, Louisa Fredey

Life of the Law School (1993- )

No abstract provided.


“Don’T Move”: Redefining “Physical Restraint” In Light Of A United States Circuit Court Divide, Julia Knitter Oct 2020

“Don’T Move”: Redefining “Physical Restraint” In Light Of A United States Circuit Court Divide, Julia Knitter

Seattle University Law Review

To reduce sentencing disparities and clarify the application of the sentencing guide to the physical restraint enhancement for a robbery conviction, this Comment argues that the United States Sentencing Commission (USSC) must amend the USSC Guidelines Manual to provide federal courts with a clearer and more concise definition of physical restraint. Additionally, although there are many state-level sentencing systems throughout the United States, this Comment only focuses on the federal sentencing guidelines for robbery because of the disparate way in which these guidelines are applied from circuit to circuit.


Recidivist Sentencing And The Sixth Amendment, Benjamin E. Adams Jun 2020

Recidivist Sentencing And The Sixth Amendment, Benjamin E. Adams

Indiana Journal of Law and Social Equality

No abstract provided.


“We Can’T Just Throw Our Children Away”: A Discussion Of The Term-Of-Years Sentencing Of Juveniles And What Can Be Done In Texas, Anjelica Harris May 2020

“We Can’T Just Throw Our Children Away”: A Discussion Of The Term-Of-Years Sentencing Of Juveniles And What Can Be Done In Texas, Anjelica Harris

Texas A&M Law Review

In the words of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, children are different. The issue of how to sentence juvenile offenders has long been controversial. Although psychology acknowledges the connection between incomplete juvenile brain development and increased criminality, the justice system lags behind in how it handles juvenile offenders. A prime example is the case of Bobby Bostic, who at the age of sixteen was charged with eighteen offenses and sentenced to 241 years in prison. This sentence, known as a term-of-years or virtual life sentence, essentially guarantees that no matter what Bobby does or who he proves himself to be …


Supervised Release Is Not Parole, Jacob Schuman May 2020

Supervised Release Is Not Parole, Jacob Schuman

Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review

The United States has the largest prison population in the developed world. Yet outside prisons, there are almost twice as many people serving terms of criminal supervision in the community— probation, parole, and supervised release. At the federal level, this “mass supervision” of convicted offenders began with the Sentencing Reform Act of 1984, which abolished parole and created a harsher and more expansive system called supervised release. Last term in United States v. Haymond, the Supreme Court took a small step against mass supervision by striking down one provision of the supervised release statute as violating the right to …


One Step Forward, One Step Back: Emergency Reform And Appellate Sentence Review In Maine, Amy K. Tchao Apr 2020

One Step Forward, One Step Back: Emergency Reform And Appellate Sentence Review In Maine, Amy K. Tchao

Maine Law Review

Perhaps in no other area of the law is a trial court's power greater than when it is given the task of criminal sentencing. Historically and traditionally, the trial court judge has been given the widest latitude of discretion in determining a proper sentence once a criminal defendant has been found guilty. Indeed, the task of sentencing has been deemed a matter of discretion rather than a question of law. As a result, trial judges historically have not articulated reasons for the sentences that they impose. However, with very few standards or criteria to measure the appropriateness of their decisions, …