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August 1, 2019

Welcome the the class blog of Sentencing Law @ Moritz College of Law (with first week details)

This blog got started over a dozen years ago (with the uninspired title of Death Penalty Course @ Moritz College of Law) in order to facilitate student engagement in a Spring 2007 course on the death penalty.  Because the blog proved successful during that semester, and because the students' hard work as reflected in the archives still generates web traffic and might still be of interest to current students, I have kept repeatedly building subsequent sentencing classes on this platform by rebooting this blog for each new course.  

It is now summer 2019, I am excited again to be gearing up again to teach Sentencing Law at the Moritz College of Law.  And, ever the web-savvy dinosaur, I am again planning to use this blog to flag current events and cases to supplement our in-class readings and discussions.  Because I use this blog (rather than TWEN) as convenient place to post information about class activities and plans and assignments, students can and should be on the look out for class materials and announcements posted here.

So, for example, here is a repeating of what is posted on the Moritz official website for our first assignments (along with electronic copies of the basic course documents):

In preparation for our first week of classes starting Monday, August 19, 2019 you should:

1.  Get a copy of the FOURTH edition of the casebook for the course, along with the course description/syllabus.

2.  Access the questionnaire and fill it out before our first class.  (In addition to being posted below, the pre-class questionnaire and course description/syllabus are available in hard-copy in front of my office, Room 313.)

3.  Find/research on your own a real sentencing issue, case or story that is of significant interest to you, and come to our first week of classes prepared to explain this issue, case or story and why it is of significant interest to you. 

Download 2019 Sentencing Law pre-class survey

Download 2019 Sentencing Law course description and syllabus

You will discover that the last items in the pre-class questionnaire reference two real-world sentencing cases, and here are just a few links with some background on those cases:

Felicity Huffman 

Lee Boyd Malvo 

August 1, 2019 | Permalink


In light of the sentencing considerations we made about Lee Boyd Malvo, new data has just been released about Michigan juvenile offenders awaiting resentencing pursuant to Miller v. Alabama. Although three years have passed since the Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama ruled that it was cruel and unusual to sentence juveniles to a life in prison without parole, more than half of juvenile lifers in Michigan - 200 inmates - still await resentencing. Potentially contributing to Michigan's slow pace was the state's initial disagreement that the ruling apply retroactively and the state's passing of stringent laws in accordance with that view.

Posted by: Anna Crisp | Aug 19, 2019 7:16:18 PM

"More Than Half of Michigan Juvenile Lifers ‘Still Await Resentencing’" - https://thecrimereport.org/2019/08/19/more-than-half-of-michigan-juvenile-lifers-still-await-resentencing/

Posted by: Anna Crisp | Aug 19, 2019 7:18:36 PM

Many, many thanks, Anna, for getting the comments warmed up. Any and all topics related to the implementation of the Supreme Court's Eighth Amendment work in Graham and Miller and Montgomery makes for a fantastic topic for a final paper!

Posted by: Doug B | Aug 20, 2019 9:38:23 AM

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