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October 6, 2011

Vera Institute produces special Federal Sentencing Reporter issue: “Sentencing Within Sentencing”

Fsr I am so very pleased and proud to announce that the October 2011 issue of the Federal Sentencing Reporter is now complete and available on line.   This is a special issues that was put together by the amazing folks at the Vera Institute of Justice, and here is how Vera describes the contents:

The October issue of the journal Federal Sentencing Reporter (FSR) examines the theme of “Sentencing Within Sentencing” — punishments defendants face in addition to those meted out by judges upon conviction. As Alison Shames, associate director of Vera’s Center on Sentencing and Corrections, writes in the “Editor’s Observations” column, “People involved in the criminal justice system are, in fact, punished at multiple points.” 

The special Vera-edited issue presents new articles and reprints by staff, alumni, and associates that address a broad range of collateral penalties, including pretrial detention due to inability to afford bail, solitary confinement, and court fees and fines.  The articles reflect Vera’s work since its founding 50 years ago, with a focus on the U.S. criminal justice, juvenile justice, and immigration systems.

You can read Alison Shames’s column and an article by Vera cofounder Herbert Sturz free of charge online.  Vera will publish related guest blog posts and additional articles from the new issue of FSR on the website in the coming weeks.

Read a blog post about this issue of FSR by Vera’s director, Michael Jacobson.

October 6, 2011 at 09:14 AM | Permalink


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The folks at Vera want to call any cost to anyone coming from government's response to a crime as a "sentence." The arrest is a sentence; the post-conviction disqualification from certain employment is a sentence; testimony by victims is a sentence. Isn't that rather odd? Would we say that motorists are being "sentenced" when they wait at DMV for a half day for their license? Would we say a parent is sentenced when a student is suspended from school because the parent has to care for the student? Is a law grad who fails the bar exam being sentenced because the government will not qualify her to practice law. Deeming any cost associated with the criminal justice process a sentence is a deliberate distortion of the issue to give an misimpression of government overreach.

Posted by: Is this distortion? | Oct 6, 2011 5:19:01 PM

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