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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78488 Find in a Library
Title: Federal Judicial Power, Parole Guidelines, and Sentence Reform (From Prisoners' Rights Sourcebook, P 91-122, 1980, Ira P Robbins, ed. - See NCJ-78483)
Author(s): D E Curtis
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
New York, NY 10014
Sale Source: Clark Boardman Company, Ltd
435 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10014
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This chapter from a sourcebook focusing on prisoners' rights examines the procedural and substantive effects of the Supreme Court's ruling in United States v. Addonizio (1979), and discusses the prospects of sentencing reform.
Abstract: Addonizio, the former mayor of Newark, N.J., and several codefendants were convicted of extortion in 1970. Addonizio was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Between the time of the 1970 conviction and the first parole hearing in 1975, the Parole Commission adopted new standards in procedures for parole decisionmaking. At the parole hearing, the commission ordered Addonizio to serve the entire sentence. Addonizio filed a motion requesting the judge to vacate the original sentence. The judge accepted jurisdiction and ruled that the commission had frustrated his intentions in sentencing the defendant, thereby making the original sentence invalid. The Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld the judge's decision, but the Supreme Court reversed it. The Court held that a sentencing judge has no jurisdiction under the cited code section to entertain collateral attacks based on frustration of the intent of sentencing judges. However, the article suggests that the present Federal sentencing and parole system does not resemble the one described by the Court in Addonizio. The system is more complicated, lines of authority are blurred, and judges have much more power that the Court admitted in its decision. The Addonizio rule, which prohibits judicial action years after sentence, is merely a trap for the ill-informed sentencing judge. Therefore, drafters of sentencing guidelines should encourage the widest possible input into their decisionmaking process. They should be informed about the possible effects of such guidelines on the rest of the criminal justice system. Finally, they should design an efficient administrative system in which discretion is structured and controlled, and decisions are made fairly and predictably. The chapter includes 86 notes.
Index Term(s): Federal courts; Federal parole guidelines; Judicial decisions; Judicial discretion; Prisoner's rights; Probation or parole decisionmaking; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions
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