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NCJ Number: 62876 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: STATEMENT OF ALFRED BLUMSTEIN (FROM RESEARCH INTO CRIMINAL SENTENCING, 1978 - SEE NCJ-62872)
Author(s): A BLUMSTEIN
Corporate Author: US Congress
House Cmtte on Science and Technology
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 17
Sponsoring Agency: US Congress
Washington, DC 20515
Type: Legislative/Regulatory Material
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE BACKGROUND, CONCEPTS, AND IMPACT OF SENTENCING REFORMS ARE DESCRIBED BY THE URBAN SYSTEMS INSTITUTE DIRECTOR AT CARNEGIE-MELLON UNIVERSITY; HE FAVORS SENTENCING COMMISSIONS OVER SENTENCING FORMULAS.
Abstract: AN OUTSIDER OBSERVING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IS STRUCK BY THE CONTRAST BETWEEN THE CAREFUL REGULATION IMPOSED ON THE TRIAL PROCESS AND THE ARBITRARINESS OF SENTENCING DECISIONS. PROPOSALS FOR SENTENCING REFORM ARE AFOOT AND CAN BE CLASSIFIED AS (1) THE MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE LEGISLATIVELY MANDATED FOR SERIOUS OFFENSES, (2) PRESUMPTIVE SENTENCES WHICH PERMIT THE JUDGE TO INVOKE MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES TO JUSTIFY ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT, AND (3) GUIDELINES DEVELOPED BY A SENTENCING COMMISSION. RESEARCH ON CURRENT SENTENCING PRACTICES OF JUDGES IN PENNSYLVANIA INDICATED THAT JUDGES DO SENTENCE ACCORDING TO THE MANDATORY MINIMUM CONCEPT, ESPECIALLY WHEN DECIDING ON SERIOUS OFFENSES AND OFFENSES OUTSIDE LARGE URBAN CENTERS. LEGISLATIVELY MANDATED SENTENCES WILL RESULT IN A NEED FOR CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE RESOURCES IN THE CORRECTIONS SYSTEM; CONSEQUENTLY, A SENTENCING COMMISSION TO REVIEW CURRENT PRACTICES AND PROPOSE GUIDELINES WOULD BE MORE FEASIBLE. A NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES REPORT SHOWS THAT RESEARCH ON DETERRENCE IS INCONCLUSIVE BUT STATES THAT A MAJOR REDUCTION IN CRIME THROUGH INCREASED USE OF INCARCERATION WOULD REQUIRE A SIGNIFICANT INCREASE IN THE PRISON POPULATION.
Index Term(s): Determinate Sentencing; Deterrence; Indeterminate sentences; Pennsylvania; Sentencing commissions; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing/Sanctions
Note: TESTIMONY GIVEN ON MAY 17, 1978
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