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SENTENCING POLICY



Changes in sentencing law and policy, not increases in crime rates, explain most of the six-fold increase in the national prison population. These changes have significantly impacted racial disparities in sentencing, as well as increased the use of “one size fits all" mandatory minimum sentences that allow little consideration for individual characteristics.

 

Sentencing Policy News
October 29, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Race and Justice News

School to Prison Pipeline: Los Angeles Schools Revamp Discipline Policies

Courts: Citizenship Trumps Race in Federal Sentencing Disparities

Vivid Account of Challenges to Biased Jury Selection in North Carolina Capital Cases

Legal Analysis: Why and How the Supreme Court Should Recognize Implicit Racial Bias 


October 24, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Disenfranchisement News

Civil Rights Commission reports call for reform

California: 'Let me Vote' campaign spreads voting rights awareness

Florida: Candidate forced to withdraw due to prior felony conviction

Michigan: NAACP brings voting booths to county jails

Mississippi: Slim chance of reform during an election year

Ohio: Judge orders voting access for people jailed the weekend before an election

Wyoming: New bill to cut wait time for voting rights restoration

National: Felony disenfranchisement infographic


October 13, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
The Sentencing Project Files Amicus Brief in Federal Case Involving Mandatory Minimums

The Sentencing Project has filed an amicus brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse a decision by the Ninth Circuit that could exacerbate the ill-effects caused by mandatory minimum penalties.


October 2, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
Felony Disenfranchisement and the 2014 Midterm Elections

As the 2014 midterm elections approach, an estimated 5.85 million Americans will be unable to exercise their voting rights due to a current or previous felony conviction. Of the total disenfranchised population, 2.6 million have completed their sentences, yet are disenfranchised in the 12 states with the most restrictive policies. Overall, 75% of disenfranchised individuals are living in the community, either under probation or parole supervision, or having completed their sentences. Disenfranchisement policies have potentially affected the outcomes of previous U.S. elections, particularly as disenfranchisement laws disproportionately impact communities of color, leaving one in every 13 black adults voiceless in the electoral process.


September 29, 2014 (The Sentencing Project)
California Adopts Fair Sentencing Act (SB 1010). Equalizes Penalties for Certain Crack and Powder Cocaine Offenses.

California Governor Jerry Brown has just signed Senate Bill 1010.  The legislation eliminates the disparity in sentencing, probation, and asset forfeiture guidelines for possession of crack cocaine for sale versus the same crime involving powder cocaine. The law takes effect in January.