Can Alabama Handle the Truth (in Sentencing)?
18 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2009 Last revised: 1 May 2009
Date Written: 2009
This Essay examines truth in sentencing, discusses its strengths and weaknesses, and analyzes what it will mean for Alabama. The piece neither seeks to support or oppose the existing legislative mandate to adopt truth in sentencing in Alabama. Rather, the Essay seeks to shed light on the issues, induce a healthy dialogue, and encourage the involved parties to garner a broad base of knowledge, carefully deliberate, properly design Alabama's truth-in-sentencing scheme, and ensure that the state has built the necessary infrastructure to support truth in sentencing. Otherwise, adopting any truth-in-sentencing scheme would be imprudent. The Essay also examines Alabama past and present sentencing models and reports on the Sentencing Commission's voluntary sentencing guidelines presently used in the state as well as the challenges it faces in developing a truth-in-sentencing scheme in compliance the existing legislative mandate.
Keywords: Alabama, crime, criminal, determinate, discretion, disparity, indeterminate, parole, public safety, sentencing, sentencing commission, sentencing reform, truth in sentencing
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