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NCJ Number: 136612 Find in a Library
Title: Exceptional Sentencing: An Analysis of the Various Factors that May Be Considered in Granting Sentences Above the Standard Range
Journal: Gonzaga Law Review  Volume:26  Issue:1  Dated:(1990-1991)  Pages:145-181
Author(s): E Christianson
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 37
Type: Legislation/Policy Description
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In an attempt to standardize sentences throughout the various State courts, the Washington Sentencing Reform Act of 1981 (SRA) created presumptive sentencing ranges for felony crimes based on the seriousness of the offense and the offender's criminal history.
Abstract: The court may impose any sentence within the range, specifying the period of total confinement, partial confinement, community supervision, community service work, or the value of a fine. An exceptional sentence may be imposed, but the SRA requires explicit reasons to support these sentences both to make the criminal justice system accountable to the public and to allow a meaningful appellate review. While many of the factors that a judge may consider in imposing an exceptional sentence come directly from the statute itself, such as deliberate cruelty, particular vulnerability of the victim, or major drug offenses, other factors have been developed by the courts. These include multiple offenses or victims; trust, confidence, or fiduciary responsibility; defendant's state of mind; invasion of privacy; sophistication and planning; and failure to walk away. The author concludes that trial court judges appear to be turning to the sentencing enhancement statutes as ways of avoiding the strictures imposed by the SRA. Furthermore, Washington appellate courts seem willing to uphold any factor which both has a logical basis and which has not previously been factored into the standard sentencing range. 98 notes and 28 appendixes
Main Term(s): Sentencing guidelines
Index Term(s): Appellate court decisions; Washington
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