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LAW 756

Sentencing and Policy

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[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] Public Interest Law: Direct Legal Services

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] as a Related Elective for those interested in Criminal Jurisprudence : Students who expect to practice criminal law should be familiar with the U.S. sentencing system. This course will also be useful for direct services lawyers whose clients may get caught up in the criminal justice system. Given the burgeoning growth of the U.S. prison population and the disproportionate number of minorities incarcerated, students interested in civil rights should also benefit from this examination of sentencing policy and the relationship between sentencing and crime.

General course Description:

This introductory course will familiarize students with the history, structure, and performance of America's sentencing system. Sentencing is the process by which criminal sanctions are imposed in individual cases following criminal convictions. The course will examine sentencing from global and historical views, from theoretical and policy perspectives, and with close attention to many problem-specific areas. We will also explore sentencing theories and their application (in both federal and state structures), the impact of sentencing policy on mass incarceration, and the relationship between sentencing and crime. These topics will be considered as they play out in current political and policy debates. Guest lectures may include presentations by legal professionals, victims, and offenders. This course is open to 1Ls, 2Ls, and 3Ls in the Law School. NOTE: Students who previously took Sentencing and Corrections (621) should not enroll in this course, as it would be duplicative. Elements used in grading. Students are asked to write two reflection papers (dates specified in the syllabus). Those two reflection papers constitute 50% of the grade; the final one-day take home exam constitutes the other 50%. Class participation will be used as a "tipping factor."

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