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Sentencing: Allocation of Authority

Definition Of Sentencing Discretion, A Discretion Diagram, Indeterminate Sentencing Systems, Statutory Determinate Sentencing, Mandatory Penalties

In the United States there are now a wide range of legal approaches to the sentencing of criminal offenders. These include indeterminate sentencing systems in many states, statutory determinate systems in a few others, and a growing number of sentencing guideline systems among the states and in federal law. The diversity in legal structure for punishment decisions has brought with it a great deal of experimentation concerning which decision-makers hold meaningful authority—or discretion—over sentencing outcomes. Allocations of sentencing discretion can be remarkably different as one moves from one American jurisdiction to another.


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Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationCrime and Criminal Law