Second Looks & Second Chances

32 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2019 Last revised: 10 Dec 2019

See all articles by Shon Hopwood

Shon Hopwood

Georgetown University Law Center

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

Suggested Citation

Hopwood, Shon R., Second Looks & Second Chances (October 20, 2019). 41 Cardozo L. Rev. 83, Available at SSRN:

Shon R. Hopwood (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
2026629559 (Phone)

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