Reflecting on Parole's Abolition in the Federal Sentencing System
Ohio State Public Law Working Paper No. 528
Federal Probation, Vol. 81, No. 2
5 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2020 Last revised: 20 Feb 2020
Date Written: September 2017
This essay spotlights how the Sentencing Reform Act’s complete elimination of parole in the federal system has exacerbated some of the most problematic aspects of modern federal sentencing. The essay explains how parole could have been, and perhaps should now become, a bulwark against the kind of impersonalized severity that has come to define much of the modern federal sentencing experience. This essay then details how some notable recent federal sentencing developments that have functioned as a kind of "parole light,” and it closes by suggesting that advocates for federal sentencing reform consider recreating a modest, modern form of parole as an efficient and effective means of improving the federal sentencing system.
Keywords: federal sentencing, parole, sentencing reform, US sentencing guidelines, mandatory minimums, clemency, prison reform
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