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NCJ Number: 49385 Find in a Library
Title: ANATOMY OF LAW REFORM - THE EFFECT OF CRIMINAL CODE REVISION ON SENTENCING - THE MAINE EXPERIENCE
Journal: IOWA JOURNAL OF SOCIAL WORK  Volume:7  Issue:4  Dated:SPECIAL ISSUE (DECEMBER 1976)  Pages:59-67
Author(s): F HUSSEY; J KRAMER; D KATKIN; S LAGOY
Corporate Author: University of Iowa
School of Social Work
United States of America
Date Published: 1976
Page Count: 9
Sponsoring Agency: University of Iowa
Iowa City, IA 52242
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THIS REVIEW OF THE MAJOR ELEMENTS OF A 1975 REVISION OF THE MAINE CRIMINAL CODE DESCRIBES THE SECTIONS MOST SIMILAR TO CHANGES CALLED FOR BY VARIOUS REFORMERS AND SPECULATES ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF REFORM ACTUALLY ACHIEVED.
Abstract: THE REVISIONS ATTEMPT TO ELIMINATE SENTENCING DISPARITY THROUGH A FLAT-SENTENCE CODE. CRIMES ARE CLASSIFIED INTO FIVE CATEGORIES WITH AN UPPER LIMIT OF CRIMINAL SANCTION PRESCRIBED FOR EACH CATEGORY. CLASS A CRIMES HAVE A MAXIMUM PERIOD OF IMPRISONMENT OF 20 YEARS WHILE CLASS E CRIMES CALL FOR A DEFINITE PERIOD NOT TO EXCEED 6 MONTHS. MANDATORY PENALTIES ARE PRESCRIBED FOR FIRST AND SECOND DEGREE HOMICIDE. THE CODE ALSO SPECIFIES THE RATE AT WHICH NONVESTED GOOD TIME AND GAIN TIME CAN BE EARNED, ABOLISHES THE PAROLE BOARD AND PAROLE SUPERVISION, AND ASSIGNS MATTERS RELATING TO REDUCTION OF SENTENCE TO THE BUREAU OF CORRECTIONS. A PROVISION IS MADE FOR SO-CALLED SPLIT SENTENCES, WHICH COMBINE INCARCERATION FOLLOWED BY PROBATION. SECTION 1154 OF THE CODE, WHICH INDICATES THAT SENTENCES IN EXCESS OF 1 YEAR THAT ARE NOT SUSPENDED ARE TO BE CONSIDERED TENTATIVE, IS CRITICIZED BECAUSE SENTENCE REDUCTION IS PLACED IN THE HANDS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS AND, TO A DEGREE, THE ORIGINAL SENTENCING JUDGE. A PROCESS CALLED RESENTENCING IS ALSO EXAMINED AND PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION OF THE CODE ARE CRITICIZED. THE EFFECTS OF PLEA BARGAINING ON DETERMINATE SENTENCES ARE ALSO EXAMINED. SEVERAL CRITERIA FOR TRUE REFORM PRESENTED ARE BASED ON THE WORKS OF THE AMERICAN FRIENDS SERVICE COMMITTEE, DAVID FOGEL, JOHN IRWIN, AND THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION COMMITTEE FOR THE STUDY OF INCARCERATION. THE MAINE LEGISLATION IS CALLED A STEP IN THE DIRECTION OF REFORM. IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN IF THESE LEGISLATIVE CHANGES RESULT IN MEANINGFUL CHANGE IN THE OPERATION OF THE PENOLOGY SYSTEM. THE ARTICLE IS FOOTNOTED.
Index Term(s): Criminal codes; Critiques; Maine; Reform; State laws
Note: PRESENTED AT THE AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CRIMINOLOGY, TUCSON, ARIZONA, NOVEMBER, 1976
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=49385

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