Prosecutor-Driven 'Second Look' Policies Are Encouraging, But Not A Panacea
32 Federal Sentencing Reporter, 205-211 (2020)
13 Pages Posted: 26 May 2020
Date Written: April 27, 2020
This article explains how the dearth of executive clemency and parole has led to some prosecutors reducing terms of incarceration for particular defendants post-sentencing. California has passed the first law to encourage prosecutors to order “second look” hearings for prisoners they deem worthy. Elsewhere, prosecutors have in rare circumstances renegotiated plea deals to reduce terms of incarceration. Prosecutor-driven “second look” policies should be considered one of many tools that could help reduce the U.S. incarceration rate. Such policies will thrive only in localities where reducing incarceration is politically palpable. The “second look” paradigm is also unlikely to be viable in the federal context, due to skepticism from the Department of Justice.
Keywords: Prosecutorial Discretion, Prosecution, Parole, Clemency, Prosecutor Elections
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