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NCJ Number: 62879 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION - CONCERNING SENTENCING PROVISIONS OF THE PROPOSED FEDERAL CRIMINAL CODE S. 1437, H.R. 6869 (FROM RESEARCH INTO CRIMINAL SENTENCING, 1978 - SEE NCJ-62872)
Author(s): ANON
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: ALTHOUGH THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION FAVORS SENTENCING REFORMS, IT CRITICIZES SEVERAL SECTIONS OF PROPOSED FEDERAL LEGISLATION, INCLUDING THE SENTENCING COMMISSION AND MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCE CONCEPTS.
Abstract: THE AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION (ABA) HAS BEEN CONCERNED FOR SEVERAL YEARS ABOUT SENTENCING PROBLEMS AND HAS ISSUED STANDARDS ON SENTENCING ALTERNATIVES, PROCEDURES, APPELLATE REVIEW, AND PROBATION. IT REPRESENTS PERSONS DAILY ENGAGED IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM, NOT RESEARCHERS. ALTHOUGH ABA HAS NO OFFICIAL POLICY ON SENTENCING COMMISSIONS, SOME OF ITS COMPONENTS HAVE OPPOSED THE CONCEPT. A MAJOR DEFICIENCY OF THE FEDERAL LEGISLATION IS ITS FAILURE TO EMPHASIZE THE USE OF ALTERNATIVES TO IMPRISONMENT. THE ABA SUPPORTS THE REQUIREMENT THAT JUDGES MUST STATE THEIR REASONS FOR SENTENCES IMPOSED. IT IS, HOWEVER, STRONGLY OPPOSED TO LEGISLATIVELY IMPOSED MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES WHICH DO NOT ALLOW THE SYSTEM TO COMPENSATE FOR INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES AND CIRCUMSTANCES AND ARE NOT EFFECTIVE IN PREVENTING LENIENT TREATMENT OF OFFENDERS. THE NEW LEGISLATION SHOULD BE AMENDED TO INCLUDE PRESUMPTION FOR PROBATION; THIS METHOD IS AS EFFECTIVE AS IMPRISONMENT AND LESS EXPENSIVE. THE ABA SUGGESTS THAT MAXIMUM TERMS BE SHORTENED, GENERALLY NOT TO EXCEED 10 YEARS. A 5-YEAR SENTENCE, THE LONGEST IN MOST EUROPEAN COUNTRIES, WOULD INCREASE THE OFFENDER'S CHANCES FOR REINTEGRATION INTO SOCIETY AND DOES NOT POSE A THREAT TO SOCIETY. PRISON CAPACITY MUST ALSO BE CONSIDERED. CONSECUTIVE SENTENCES ARE RARELY APPROPRIATE AND SHOULD BE CAREFULLY CIRCUMSCRIBED. THE LEGISLATION SHOULD BE AMENDED TO ALLOW FOR DUE PROCESS IN IMPOSITION OF SENTENCES AND ABSOLUTE RIGHT TO COUNSEL AT PROBATION REVOCATION HEARINGS. (MJM)
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; American Bar Association (ABA); Determinate Sentencing; Public order offenses; Sentencing commissions; Sentencing guidelines
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=62879

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