Re-Balancing Fitness, Fairness, and Finality for Sentences
Douglas A. Berman
Ohio State University (OSU) - Michael E. Moritz College of Law
May 2, 2014
Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 243
This Essay examines the issue of “sentence finality” in the hope of encouraging more thorough and reflective consideration of the values and interests served — and not served — by doctrines, policies, and practices that may allow or preclude the review of sentences after they have been deemed final. Drawing on American legal history and modern penal realities, this Essay highlights reasons why sentence finality has only quite recently become an issue of considerable importance. This Essay also suggests that this history combines with modern mass incarceration in the United States to call for policy-makers, executive officials, and judges now to be less concerned about sentence finality, and to be more concerned about punishment fitness and fairness, when new legal developments raise doubts or concerns about lengthy prison sentences.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 28
Keywords: sentencing, finality
JEL Classification: K14, K19
Date posted: May 3, 2014
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