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Sentencing Decisions: Matching the Decisionmaker to the Decision Nature

39 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2005  

Paul H. Robinson

University of Pennsylvania Law School

Barbara A. Spellman

University of Virginia School of Law

Abstract

The present sentencing debate focuses on which decisionmaker is best suited to make the sentencing decision. Competing positions in this debate typically view the sentencing decision as monolithic, preferring one decisionmaker over all the others. A monolithic view of the decision unnecessarily invites poor decisionmaking. The sentencing decision is properly viewed as a series of distinct decisions, each of which can best be performed by a decisionmaker with certain qualities. This Essay demonstrates how a system of optimal decisionmaking might be constructed -by sorting out the different attributes called for by the distinct aspects of the sentencing decision and matching them to the strengths and weaknesses of each potential decisionmaker.

Keywords: Sentencing

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Robinson, Paul H. and Spellman, Barbara A., Sentencing Decisions: Matching the Decisionmaker to the Decision Nature. Columbia Law Review, Vol. 105, pp. 1124-1161, May 2005. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=684162

Paul H. Robinson (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Barbara A. Spellman

University of Virginia School of Law ( email )

580 Massie Road
Charlottesville, VA 22903
United States

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