Sentencing Posts

Setting Limits on Mass Conviction

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.

Can Federal Sentencing Remain Transparent?

Criminal trials have virtually disappeared in many federal courtrooms. According to a recent U.S. Sentencing Commission report, “[i]n recent years, 97 percent of federal defendants convicted of a felony or Class A misdemeanor offense are adjudicated guilty based on a guilty plea rather than on a verdict at a trial.”