Seminar in Criminal Law: Punishment in Theory & Practice

L776 is taught by J. Eaglin

This seminar will examine the evolution of U.S. sentencing law over the last fifty years. The Sentencing Reform Act of 1984 will be a focal point as we explore its impact on sentencing law and policy in the United States, with a specific focus on the federal justice system. We will also examine the purposes of sentencing, the role of different criminal justice actors in the sentencing process, the mechanics of various sentencing guideline structures, procedural and constitutional requirements at sentencing, the death penalty, and the outcomes of our sentencing policies. This seminar provides students the opportunity to consider issues of justice, fairness, politics and efficiency in the U.S. criminal justice system through a comprehensive review of federal sentencing law. Students will be expected to write a research paper on a topic of his or her choice that relates to federal sentencing policy.