Criminal law fixed sentencing of michigan

When Can Sentences Be Changed?

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Correcting, Modifying or Reducing a Criminal Sentence |

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In all, prisoners in Michigan gave gotten their sentences commuted in the last 10 years, according to the state Department of Corrections. Garlin Gilchrist. The Supreme Court assumed responsibility for appellate review of sentencing and for developing sentencing guidelines in response to concerns of unwarranted disparity in sentencing.

The purpose was to provide sentencing norms, to minimize disparity, and to promote consistency in sentencing without eliminating sentencing discretion. The Legislature established a Sentencing Commission in , with directions to develop sentencing guidelines.

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MCL The member Commission included four senators and four representatives two from each caucus , the directors of the Department of Corrections and the Department of Management and Budget, a circuit and a recorder's court judge, two representatives of the public, a prosecutor, a defense attorney, a sheriff, an individual advocating alternatives to incarceration, and an individual representing victims of crime. The Commission met from May through November and reported proposed sentencing guidelines to the Legislature in late The statutory sentencing guidelines were enacted by PA 16 to be used for all felony offenses 17 committed on or after January 1, , for which there is sentencing discretion.

In contrast to the judicial guidelines used from to , 20 the statutory sentencing guidelines reflect policy decisions made by the Commission and adopted by the Legislature regarding the appropriate length of the minimum term of a sentence. The statutory direction to the Commission was to develop guidelines that would:.

Correcting, Modifying or Reducing a Criminal Sentence

The Commission first faced the task of identifying and cataloging all felony offenses. The Commission categorized all felony offenses into one of six crime groups reflecting the general nature of the social harm involved: crimes against the person, crimes against property, crimes involving controlled substances, crimes against public order, crimes against public safety, and crimes against the public trust.

The crime group of the conviction offense determines which offense variables are to be considered and scored. The Commission then ranked all felonies in nine levels of offense severity: the highest being second-degree murder, in a class by itself; then class A through class H, representing a descending order of offense severity.

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Enhanced habitual offender minimum sentence ranges were set by increasing the maximum end of cell length by 25, 50, and percent for second, third, or fourth felony offenders respectively. In determining the guidelines' sentence ranges, the Commission analyzed the actual sentencing practices of the trial court bench and considered the statutory maximum sentencing length, but were constrained by neither.

The Commission weighed the impact of proposed guidelines on jail and prison population growth but, again, did not use that as a controlling factor. With all of the above as an information base, the Commission applied its collective wisdom to achieve prescriptive guidelines to meet the legislative policy goals.

The guidelines reflect the underlying sentencing policy in a number of ways. Offenses against the person are treated more severely by placement in higher crime classes. Proportionality in sentencing is achieved by providing longer minimum sentences to higher crime classes and within each grid based on increased offense severity and a more significant prior criminal record. Designation of those offenses and offenders for which a prison sentence is appropriate, and those for which intermediate sanctions are appropriate, is accomplished by three dispositional "cell" types in the sentencing grids: cells that require imprisonment, "straddle" cells that allow the judge to sentence either to prison or to intermediate sanctions, and "intermediate sanction" cells that preclude state imprisonment.

The guidelines retain sentencing that is individualized to the offender and the offense committed by taking into account the defendant's criminal record and the facts underlying the offense. At the same time, they attempt to reduce disparity in sentencing by assigning a measured weight to those factors. In every case, the guidelines first measure seven categories of the defendant's criminal history prior record variables , including prior "high" and "low" severity felony and misdemeanor convictions and adjudications; the offender's relationship, if any, with the criminal justice system at the time of the offense; and any contemporaneous felony convictions.

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The prior record level PRL and offense severity level OSL constitute the two dimensions of the sentencing grids; the intersecting cell reflects the appropriate minimum sentence range for that offender and that particular offense.

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