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Columbia Law School

Criminal Procedure

Federal Sentencing Reporter

Publication Year

Articles 1 - 3 of 3

Full-Text Articles in Law

Risk As A Proxy For Race: The Dangers Of Risk Assessment, Bernard E. Harcourt Jan 2015

Risk As A Proxy For Race: The Dangers Of Risk Assessment, Bernard E. Harcourt

Faculty Scholarship

Actuarial risk assessment in the implementation and administration of criminal sentencing has a long history in this country – a long and fraught history. Today, many progressive advocates promote the use of actuarial risk assessment instruments as part of a strategy to reduce the problem of "mass incarceration." Former Attorney General Eric Holder has called on the U.S. Sentencing Commission to hold hearings to further consider the matter of risk assessment and prediction tools in sentencing and parole.

The objective – to reduce our massive over-incarceration in this country – is critical and noble. But risk assessment tools are simply the wrong ...


The Sentencing Guidelines As A Not-So-Model Penal Code, Gerard E. Lynch Jan 1994

The Sentencing Guidelines As A Not-So-Model Penal Code, Gerard E. Lynch

Faculty Scholarship

We are accustomed to thinking about the criminal law, and the procedures for enforcing it, as divided into two separate stages. The first stage – the subject of penal codes and jury trials – concerns the definition of culpable conduct and the adjudication of guilt. The second stage – sentencing – concerns the consequences of conviction for the offender. Only rarely do we acknowledge that the conventional separation of these stages into compartments is highly misleading.

The articles in this Issue of FSR address, in one way or another, the extent to which the concerns of the substantive criminal law and the law of ...


"Carrot And Stick" Sentencing: Structuring Incentives For Organizational Defendants, John C. Coffee Jr. Jan 1990

"Carrot And Stick" Sentencing: Structuring Incentives For Organizational Defendants, John C. Coffee Jr.

Faculty Scholarship

The new "Draft Guidelines for Organizational Defendants" released by the U.S. Sentencing Commission on October 25, 1990, explicitly adopt a "'carrot and stick' approach" to sentencing. While the boldly instrumental use made of sentencing penalties and credits in these guidelines will trouble some, the larger question is whether the Commission's social engineering will work. Two issues stand out: First, is the Commission's carrot mightier than its stick? At first glance, this may seem a surprising question because the "stick" in the Commission's guidelines seemingly packs a Ruthian wallop: fines under the draft guidelines are based on ...