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Sentencing Options: Why Restrict Judges?



Sentencing Options: Why Restrict Judges?




Most lawyers today and nonlawyers know about the part of the criminal justice system involving investigations, arrests, arguments about evidence, examinations of witnesses, and other activities that take place in courtrooms. But, even though Wisconsin spends more than $1 billion annually on its corrections system, many lawyers and nonlawyers know little about what happens to sentenced prisoners after they leave the courtroom. This article describes the differences between indeterminate sentencing (parolable) and determinate sentencing (court controls exact length of confinement), each of which has strengths but also significant limitations. The authors conclude that, instead of restricting judges exclusively to only one or the other type of sentence, both the criminal justice system and public safety would benefit if judges could choose between the two options.

Bibliographic Citation

Streit, Kenneth M.; Chisholm, John T., Sentencing Options: Why Restrict Judges?, 83 Wisconsin Lawyer 6-7, 62-63 (2010)