Levin College of Law

Course Number: LAW 6936 Credits: 2

This seminar examines the principles, practices, and policies of noncapital sentencing. While sentencing as an aspect of the legal process has been around for several thousand years, sentencing as a distinct field of study and practice is a quite recent event. The course begins by surveying the purposes that animate sentencing and the variety of institutional actors involved in its creation and implementation. We then study sentencing in more detail, focusing on the idea of sentencing guidelines and the particular guidelines in place in Florida and in the federal system. Other classes examine the peculiar phenomenon of the “real offense” and the sentencing inputs of offense seriousness, prior criminal record, and the offender’s character and circumstances. The course also covers fines, probation, and collateral consequences. Students will select an area for individual study and present their research papers to the class.