NJ Commission to Review Criminal Sentecing Banner
ISSUE No. 12
November 30, 2006

CALENDAR: The next meeting of the Sentencing Commission will held on Tuesday, December 19, 2006, at 10:00 a.m.

New Jersey Sentencing News

November 15, 2006
Asbury Park Press

Paying For Corruption

October 30, 2006
Courier News

Biondi Calls For Harsher Drug Penalties

October 24 2006
Star Ledger

Accused Child Murderer Hits Legal Snag

National Sentencing News

November 26, 2006
Associated Press

Lawmakers Again Fail To Address Drug Sentencing Disparity

November 24, 2006
Washington Post

Despite Fewer Lockups, NYC Has Seen Big Drop In Crime

November 20, 2006
The Sacramento Bee

State Sentencing Commission Under Study

November 20, 2006
The Roanoke Times

Making Time Fit The Crime

November 16, 2006
Lawrence Journal-World

Sex Offender Restrictions Under Fire

November 13, 2006
The Plain Dealer

Ohio Lagging On Federal Standards To Deal With Repeat Drunken Drivers

November 14, 2006

Judge Says Crack Sentencing Goes Too Far

November 9, 2006

Attack Of The Perv Trackers

November 8, 2006
San Francisco Chronicle

Sex Offender Proposition 83 Blocked In Court

November 9, 2006
USA Today

Supreme Court Asked to Apply Sentencing Rule Retroactively

November 4, 2006
New York Times

Supreme Court To Revisit Federal Sentencing Issues

Document Library

Drug Policy

The High Cost of Drug Free Zones
Hon. Gwendolyn Faison, Mayor, City of Camden

Cracks In The System: Twenty Years Of The Unjust Federal Crack Laws
American Civil Liberties Union


General Sentencing Policy

Evidence-Based Public Policy Options To Reduce Future Prison Construction, Criminal Justice and Crime Rates
Washington State Institute For Public Policy

Missouri’s Information-Based Discretionary Sentencing System
Hon. Michael A. Wolf, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Missouri

Texas Sunset Advisory Commission Report
Texas Dept. Criminal Justice, Board of Pardons and Paroles, Correctional Managed Health Care Committee


Recent Sentencing Decisions

New Jersey

State v. Porfirio Jiminez, __ N.J. (2006)
Docket No. A-50-2006
Held:In this appeal, the Supreme Court of New Jersey declared that a capital defendant seeking to avoid a death sentence by claiming that he is mentally retarded has the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that he falls into that category. Bringing New Jersey in line with most other states that have considered the issue, the New Jersey Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling that lack of mental retardation is equivalent to an offense element and hence must be proved by the state beyond a reasonable doubt. In Atkins v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that the cruel and unusual punishment clause of the Eighth Amendment bars the execution of mentally retarded people. The Atkins Court specifically left it up to the states to define mental retardation and to develop procedures for making retardation determinations in individual cases. Since that time, every other state that has looked at the issue has held that a defendant must bear the burden of proving an Atkins claim, though those courts differ as to the weight of the burden defendants carry. The Court said that a claim of mental retardation is much like a claim of insanity in important respects. Insanity is an affirmative defense that a defendant must prove, it explained, and this is because "the claim is unrelated to the underlying elements of the crime that the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt in every case." As with an insanity defense, the Court continued, where a mental retardation claim is made, the state still must prove all the elements of the offense, including a capital trigger.

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NJ Commission to Review Criminal Sentencing | PO Box 095 | Trenton, NJ 08625-0095
Tel: 609.341.2813 | Fax: 609.341.2816 | Email: bennett.barlyn@lps.state.nj.us