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NCJ Number: 51616 Find in a Library
Title: COMPARATIVE ASSESSMENT OF DETERMINATE SENTENCING IN THE FOUR PIONEER STATES
Journal: CRIME AND DELINQUENCY  Volume:24  Issue:4  Dated:(OCTOBER 1978)  Pages:385400
Author(s): S P LAGOY; F A HUSSEY; J H KRAMER
Corporate Author: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 16
Sponsoring Agency: National Council on Crime and Delinquency
Newark, NJ 07102
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: PROVISIONS FOR DETERMINATE SENTENCING IN THE CRIMINAL CODES OF MAINE, CALIFORNIA, INDIANA, AND ILLINOIS ARE COMPARED AND CONTRASTED, WITH EMPHASIS ON THE VARIATIONS POSSIBLE WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF DETERMINACY.
Abstract: THE CRITICAL FEATURE IN MAINE'S DETERMINATE SENTENCING SCHEME IS THE CENTRALITY OF THE JUDICIARY IN THE DETERMINATION OF THE SENTENCE. MAINE IS UNIQUE IN THAT ITS JUDGES ARE EMPOWERED TO IMPOSE FIXED SENTENCES LIMITED ONLY BY STATUTORY MAXIMA. IN CONTRAST TO MAINE'S JUDICIAL MODEL, THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE ESTABLISHED A PRESUMPTIVE SENTENCING SCHEME THAT LIMITS PRISON TERMS TO A VERY NARROW RANGE OF POSSIBILITIES. PAROLE DISCRETION IS ABOLISHED, AND JUDICIAL DISCRETION IS DEFINED NARROWLY. THE SENTENCING PROVISIONS OF THE INDIANA CODE REPRESENT A HYBRID APPROACH TO DETERMINATE SENTENCING. WHILE ADOPTING THE MECHANICS OF PRESUMPTIVE SENTENCNG (SPECIFIED PENALTIES, AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS, LIMITED PAROLE FUNCTION), THE INDIANA CODE GRANTS CONSIDERABLE JUDICIAL DISCRETION IN THE DETERMINATION OF SENTENCE LENGTHS. THE ILLINOIS REVISION HAS REVAMPED THE TRADITIONAL PAROLE DECISIONMAKING FUNCTION AND HAS VESTED THE JUDICIARY WITH PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITY FOR SETTING THE LENGTH OF DETERMINATE PRISON SENTENCES. AS IN MAINE, THERE ARE NO PRESUMPTIVE OR SUGGESTED TERMS BINDING SENTENCING DECISIONS; A JUDGE MAY SELECT ANY TERM OF IMPRISONMENT WITHIN LIMITS SET BY THE LEGISLATURE FOR EACH CLASS OF FELONY. UNLIKE MAINE, THESE LIMITS INCLUDE A LEGISLATIVELY FIXED MINIMUM AS WELL AS A MAXIMUM. UNLIKE ANY OF THE OTHER THREE STATES, ILLINOIS PROVIDES A SEPARATE SCHEDULE OF EXTENDED TERMS FOR REPEAT OFFENDERS AND FOR EXCEPTIONALLY CRUEL OR BRUTAL CRIMES. THERE ARE VAST DIFFERENCES AMONG THE FOUR STATES IN THE CONSTRAINTS ON THE JUDGE'S DECISION WHETHER TO INCARCERATE, IN THE DELIMITATION OF JUDICIAL DISCRETION IN SENTENCING, IN THE SPECIFICITY OF AGGRAVATING AND MITIGATING FACTORS, IN THE INSTITUTIONAL USE OF GOOD TIME, IN THE RANGE OF POSSIBLE PENALTIES, AND IN THE DEGREE TO WHICH DETERMINATE SENTENCING AS PRACTICED CAN RESEMBLE INDETERMINATE SENTENCING. ADVOCATES OF DETERMINACY STRESS ITS POTENTIAL FOR PRODUCING GREATER UNIFORMITY, MORE EQUALITY, AND LESS DISPARITY. HOWEVER, THE ANALYSIS OF THE STATES IN WHICH DETERMINATE SENTENCING HAS BEEN ADOPTED SUGGESTS THAT THESE GOALS MAY BE AS UNATTAINABLE AS REHABILITATION. IT IS CONCLUDED THAT THE SPEED WITH WHICH SENTENCING REVISIONS ARE BEING ENDORSED MAY HINDER REASONED ANALYSIS OF THE NEED FOR SENTENCING REFORM, THE NATURE OF DESIRED REFORM, AND THE OUTCOME OF REFORM ONCE IMPLEMENTED. SUPPORTING DATA ARE INCLUDED.
Index Term(s): California; Comparative analysis; Criminal codes; Determinate Sentencing; Illinois; Indiana; Maine; State laws
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51616

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