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Sentencing Law and Policy: Cases, Statutes, and Guidelines, Fifth Edition

  • Nora Demleitner
  • Douglas Berman
  • Marc L. Miller
  • Ronald F. Wright
Series / Aspen Casebook Series
Teaching Materials
Table of contents

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Sentencing Law and Policy: Cases, Statutes, and Guidelines, Fifth Edition, provides comprehensive coverage of all aspects of sentencing law, policy and practice.

The new fifth edition of Sentencing Law & Policy: Cases Statutes and Guidelines gives students a comprehensive overview of modern sentencing practices in all major types of systems: determinate and indeterminate, discretionary, and structured, federal and state, capital and non-capital. Authored by leading scholars in the fields of sentencing and criminal procedure, this casebook surveys the legal doctrine and depicts major sentencing institutions at work, including legislatures, commissions, judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, probation officers, parole boards, and others. The book motivates students to connect legal practices with current policy and equity debates that reshape criminal sentencing. The new edition includes extensive materials on emerging topics like the work of progressive prosecutors, the use of risk assessment tools, and the impacts of the COVID pandemic.

New to the Fifth Edition:

  • Thoroughly updated to address important statutory and case law changes, including important new legislation, such as the FIRST STEP Act, leading U.S. Supreme Court, U.S. Court of Appeals, state appellate court decisions, and prominent recent scholarship.
  • Coverage of modern policy issues, including mass incarceration, prosecutorial and judicial discretion, punishment for drug crimes, revised federal and state sentencing guidelines, and concerns about racial and other disparities in sentencing.
  • Additions give focused attention to new topics of particular interest to sentencing advocates and practitioners such as the policies of progressive prosecutors, the development and use of risk assessment tools at sentencing, and the impacts of the COVID pandemic on sentencing and corrections. A new final chapter considers sentencing review doctrines and pays special attention to new laws and advocacy surrounding “second look” sentencing mechanisms. It also questions the role of executive clemency in the criminal system.

Professors and students will benefit from:

  • Intuitive organization that tracks the progression of every criminal case but is modular enough to allow professors to organize the material as they see fit.
  • Comprehensive examples drawn from all common sentencing regimes, including guideline-determinate, indeterminate, and capital schemes.
  • Notes, problems, and questions address current issues of concern, provide comprehensive policy discussion, and integrate with direct sources of information, including sentencing commission websites.
  • Wide-ranging source materials, including:
    • S. Supreme Court decisions
    • State high court rulings, federal appellate court cases, and rulings from foreign jurisdictions
    • Federal and state statutes and sentencing guidelines
    • Reports and statistical data from various jurisdictions
  • Up-to-date and robust coverage of cutting-edge topics ranging from the new federal FIRST STEP Act to the local progressive prosecutor movement, from the impact of the COVID pandemic to the emergence of new “second look” sentencing mechanisms.
  • Discussions of race, gender, and class run throughout the entire book and challenge students to confront questions about warranted and unwarranted disparities.

Teaching materials include:

  • Online Teachers’ Manual
  • Sample syllabi
  • Classroom Exercises
  • Online readings, drawn from prior editions, to cover topics that some teachers might want to explore in greater detail than the published text envisions
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Fifth Edition
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Connected eBook + Hardcover
Connected eBook (Digital Only)
Criminal Procedure
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