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NCJ Number: 97527 Find in a Library
Title: Examination of Issues in the Florida Sentencing Guidelines
Journal: Nova Law Journal  Volume:8  Issue:3  Dated:(Spring 1984)  Pages:687-721
Author(s): R J Spitzmiller
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 35
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This paper analyzes the philosophy and formulation of the Florida Sentencing Guidelines, examines circumstances under which departures from the presumptive sentences are allowed, and considers the guidelines' constitutionality.
Abstract: Florida's sentencing reform is traced to January 1978, when the Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court appointed a committee to examine sentencing disparity and sentence alternatives. Florida's participation in a multijurisdictional sentencing guidelines project, funded by the National Institute of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice and the Law Enforcement Assistance Administration, is discussed. The use of the past sentencing practices of Florida judges as a basis for determining sentence ranges for various crimes is detailed; the emergence of a model which represented what sentencing had been, rather than what it ought to be, is noted. The development of the Florida Sentencing Guidelines Commission is reported. Judicial discretion to depart from the guidelines is explored; such departure must occur only when the circumstances of the case clearly and convincingly warrant aggravating or mitigating the sentence. The Commission's decision to change the standard for departure on August 26, 1983, is reported, and Minnesota Supreme Court cases interpreting that State's guidelines are reviewed. Additionally, Minnesota's guidelines success in withstanding constitutional attacks is highlighted, and the constitutionality of Florida's guidelines is assessed. Attention is focused on due process considerations, equal protection, separation of powers, double jeopardy, and on the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment. Included are 241 case notes.
Index Term(s): Florida; Minnesota; Sentencing guidelines; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions; US Supreme Court decisions
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