Second Looks & Second Chances
32 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2019 Last revised: 10 Dec 2019
Date Written: October 20, 2019
The federal criminal justice system asks too much of prosecutors, probation officers, and judges to determine, at the front-end during charging and sentencing decisions, which defendants need to be incapacitated and are unredeemable. Those predictions of risk at the front end are often wrong, and that is why the federal criminal justice system needs overlapping second look provisions. This essay describes several avenues that federal decision-makers can use to identify people serving needlessly long sentences and who are no longer a danger to society, and then reduce that person's sentence.
Keywords: federal criminal justice, federal sentencing, second looks, parole, clemency, compassionate release, prosecutors, courts
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