What’s the meaning of “life?”. Pennsylvania’s highest court considers the question currently facing many other courts around the country of how many years in prison constitute a life sentence, and how can such a thing be calculated?
Virginia’s sentencing guidelines include alternative sanctions based on the use of a quantitative instrument called the Nonviolent Risk Assessment (NVRA) that identifies individuals convicted of drug and property crimes that are considered to be at lower risk of recidivism. In this study, the authors explore how judges make use of the NVRA instrument when sentencing individuals convicted of low‐level drug and property crimes.
This article is a response to a recent New York Times op ed piece in which James Forman, Jr. and Sarah Lustbader pose the question, “What can we do to shrink our prison population, the world’s largest?”.
An article for Law360 entitled “Risk Assessment Tools Are Not A Failed ‘Minority Report’” discusses the use of risk assessment tools used by judges in criminal cases. The article comes in response to a New York Times op-ed which implied that risk assessment tools make future violence seem more predictable than it actually is.
State legislatures across the country made significant strides in reforming their criminal justice regimes throughout 2018. States revised their existing criminal codes, passed new legislation, and amended their constitutions in order to address a range of criminal justice concerns.
On July 15, a Virginia judge sentenced James Fields Jr. to a life sentence, plus 419 years, for killing Heather Heyer at the 2017 Charlottesville white nationalist rally by ramming his car into a crowd.
On July 25, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a press release announcing that the Federal Government will resume capital punishment after a nearly two decade lapse.
This article is about how we quantify and perceive changes in incarceration rates, what we mean when we say that some states have had more incarceration growth than others, and what metrics we should treat as “success” when states experiment with prison-population controls.
For the past several years, the Collateral Consequences Resource Center has been documenting the emergence of an extraordinary legislative trend in the states that is aimed at helping individuals overcome the adverse consequences of a criminal record. It appears that lawmakers are at last recognizing the economic disadvantages of having burdened almost a third of the adult population with some sort of criminal record, the product of a vast expansion of criminal prosecutions over the past thirty years.
An article from Law360 Access to Justice breaks down a recent appellate decision on the interpretation of federal sentencing guidelines which could have a major impact on people with prior criminal records who are being sentenced for new crimes.