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NCJ Number: 68834 Find in a Library
Title: EXPERT TESTIMONY AT SENTENCING (FROM AMERICAN JURISPRUDENCE, PROOF OF FACTS, SECOND SERIES, VOLUME 21, P 645-700, 1980)
Author(s): G T GITCHOFF
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 58
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE USE OF SENTENCING EXPERTS TO ASSIST THE COURT IN DETERMINING AN APPROPRIATE SENTENCE IS DISCUSSED.
Abstract: THE FIRST SERIOUS EFFORT TO EXPAND THE ROLE OF DEFENSE COUNSEL AT SENTENCING WITH THE AID OF SOCIAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENTISTS WAS IN 1966 WITH THE OFFENDER REHABILITATION PROJECT OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC DEFENDER SERVICE. USING A TEAM OF SOCIAL WORKERS, A PSYCHIATRIST, A PSYCHOLOGIST, AND SOCIAL WORK ASSISTANTS, THE PROJECT PROVIDED DEFENSE ATTORNEYS WITH EXTENSIVE BACKGROUND INVESTIGATIONS OF DEFENDANTS AND DEVELOPED COMMUNITY-BASED CORRECTIONAL PROGRAMS FOR CONSIDERATION BY THE COURTS. THE SUCCESS OF THIS EFFORT HAS BEEN DOCUMENTED AND ITS ADOPTION BY OTHER JURISDICTIONS ADVOCATED. IN DETAILING THE ELEMENTS OF SUCH AN APPROACH TO SENTENCING, THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE SELECTION OF A SENTENCING EXPERT, GENERAL SENTENCING STRATEGY, ALTERNATIVES TO INCARCERATION, PREPARING FOR SENTENCING BY PROFILING THE CLIENT, AND PITFALLS TO AVOID AT SENTENCING. THREE SAMPLES OF PRIVATE PRESENTENCE REPORTS ARE GIVEN. A TEAM APPROACH IN TESTIMONY AT A SENTENCING HEARING IS ILLUSTRATED FROM AN ACTUAL COURT-MARTIAL PROCEEDING. THE SENTENCING EXPERTS INVOLVED WERE A CRIMINOLOGIST AND A PSYCHIATRIST. THE CRIMINOLOGIST'S TESTIMONY WAS GIVEN FIRST IN ORDER TO DISCUSS THE PURPOSE OF HIS EVALUATION AND CLARIFY HISTORICAL AND CURRENT TRENDS IN PUNISHMENT AND REHABILITATION. THE EMPHASIS WAS ON SOCIOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS AND SENTENCE RECOMMENDATION. THE PSYCHIATRISTS'S TESTIMONY ADDRESSED MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL FACTORS, AS WELL AS INTENT, MOTIVATIONAL ANALYSIS, AND SENTENCING RECOMMENDATIONS. COLLATERAL REFERENCES AND AN INDEX ARE PROVIDED.
Index Term(s): Expert witnesses; Presentence investigations; Presentence studies
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