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ISSUE No. 15
February 28, 2007

CALENDAR: The next meeting of the Sentencing Commission will held on Tuesday, March 20, 2007, at 10:00 a.m, at 10:00 a.m.

Commission News

February 25, 2007
Star Ledger

Panel Urges Rehab Over Jail for Drug Crimes

New Jersey Sentencing News

February 10, 2007
Press of Atlantic City

Egg Harbor City Rescinds Sex-Offender Law

February 6, 2007
Home News Tribune

Barnes To Head Parole Board

January 30, 2007
Star Ledger

A Tougher Body Parts Ban

National Sentencing News

February 20, 2007
New York Times

Justices To Revisit Thorny Issue of Sentencing Guidelines In First Cases After Recess

February 18, 2007
Los Angeles Times

Op-Ed: Crime or Punishment: Voters Want Criminals Lock Up, But Many Don’t Want To Pay

February 18, 2007
Rocky Mountain News

Revolving Door To State Prisons

February 16, 2007

What’s Next For The System:  Panel Explores Future of Criminal Justice Under Governor Spitzer

February 16, 2007
Portland Press Herald

Overcrowding Plagues Maine’s Prisons

February 15, 2007
Boston Globe

Sharp Rise in Number of Inmates Projected: Prison Study Faults Get-Tough Policies

February 14, 2007
Associated Press

Budget Dumps Lifetime Sex Offender GPS Tracking

February 12, 2007
National Journal.com

Irrational Sentencing, Top To Bottom

February 12, 2007

Plan Would Move Inmates Closer to Urban Areas: Re-entry Centers Would Offer Job Training, Drug Treatment in Months Before and After Release

February 10, 2007

Op-Ed: Think Outside The Cell:  Building Prisons Is the Mindless, Costly Way to Fight Crime. Texans Have Better Choices

February 9, 2007
Rutland Herald

State Takes Up Prison Overcrowding

February 8, 2007
Observer News

Retiring To A Florida Prison

February 7, 2007
Associated Press

Arizona Part of Prison, Crime Study;  Council Seeking Ways To Curb Inmate Influx

February 7, 2007
USA Today

Wider Death Penalty Sought

February 5, 2007
New York Times

Spitzer Seeks Panel To Study Prison Closings

February 5, 2007

California Crime and Punishment

February 5, 2007
Los Angeles Times

Op-Ed: Crisis In Prison Overcrowding Cries Out For Correction
February 4, 2007
The Clarion Ledger

Op-Ed: A Balanced Policy Needed

Febrauary 3, 2007
Wall Street Journal

Federal Prosecutors Widen Pursuit Of Death Penalty As States Ease Off

January 31, 2007
Associated Press

Study: Vermont Novel Sentencing Program Really Works

January 26, 2007

Support Grows For New Sentencing Commission

January 30, 2007

Prison Crisis and Public Safety

January 27 2007
Rocky Mountain News

Prison Sentencing Facing Scrutiny

January 30, 2007

The Irrational 18-Year-Old: Criminal Evidence That Prison Doesn’t Deter Crime

Document Library

Collateral Sanctions

Apprendi & Blakely Issues

“The Question Is Which Is to Be Master – That’s All”:
Cunningham, Claiborne, Rita and the Sixth Amendment Muddle

Professor Frank O. Bowman III

The Supreme Court Invalidates California's"Determinate Sentencing" Law:  Part One in a Two-Part Series on Yet More Cases  Involving Judicial Factfinding in Sentencing
Professor Vikram David Amar

Justice Alito's Dissent in Cunningham v. California: How Can Someone So Wrong, Be So Right?
Professor Vikram David Amar and Professor Aaron Rappaport

Drug Policy

National Drug Control Strategy
White House

Fiscal Implications

Public Safety, Public Spending – Forecasting America’s Prison Population 2007-2011
Pew Charitable Trusts

Changing Crime Rates: Ineffective Law Enforcement Grants And The Prison Buildup
The Heritage Foundation

Reconsidering Incarceration:  New Directions For Reducing Crime
The Vera Institute


Criminal Recidivism In Alaska
Alaska Judicial Council


State Crime Legislation In 2006
National Conference Of State Legislatures

Juvenile Court Statistics 2001-2002
Office of Justice and Delinquency Prevention

California’s Criminal Justice System: A Primer
California Legislative Analyst’s Office

Attitudes Of US Voters Toward Youth Crime And The Justice System
National Council On Crime and Delinquency


Recent Sentencing Decisions

New Jersey

State v.  James Hemphill,   N.J. Super.  (App. Div. 2007)
Docket No. A6297-04T4

Held:  In this appeal, the Appellate Division held that Rule 3:21-8, which requires that a defendant receive credit on the term of a custodial sentence for any time served in custody in jail between arrest and the imposition of sentence, applies when he or she is held in a foreign country on a New Jersey detainer. Accordingly, defendant is entitled to additional credit for time spent in custody in Edinburgh Prison.

In The Matter of The Civil Commitment of T.J.N.,   N.J. Super. (App. Div. 2007)
Docket No. A6297-04T4

Held:  In this appeal, the Appellate Division rejected T.J.N.’s claim that his civil commitment under the Sexually Violent Predator Act (SVPA) must be vacated because the certificate used in support of the petition for temporary commitment failed to allege that T.J.N. was "highly likely to recidivate in the reasonably foreseeable future.” T.J.N. was serving a period of incarceration and was scheduled to "max out" when the petition was filed.  The Appellate Division rejected the claim as unfounded based on the record below. Moreover, the Appellate Division emphasized that it has previously sustained the admissibility of hearsay as part of an expert witness' testimony at SVPA commitment hearings. Moreover, the Appellate Division emphasized that the consequences of a commitment under the Act and the significant liberty interests at stake require protection as a matter of due process. However, the commitment proceedings are not part of a "criminal prosecution" giving rise to Confrontation Clause protection under the Sixth Amendment to the Federal Constitution or Article 1, para. 10 of the New Jersey Constitution. The order of civil commitment must be based on "clear and convincing\evidence that an individual who has been convicted of a sexually violent offense[] suffers from a mental abnormality or personality disorder[] and presently has serious difficulty controlling harmful sexually violent. The record disclosed no basis to upset the order under review.

State v. Charles A. Watkins,  N.J. Super.   (App. Div. 2007)
Docket No. A3853-05T4

Held:   In this appeal the Appellate Division reversed the denial of  defendant’s entry into PTI and remanded for reconsideration.  A key element in defendant’s rejection was the State’s conclusion that his crimes‑‑ theft by deception and unsworn falsification involving the illegal receipt of unemployment benefits for a four‑month period ‑‑ constituted a "continuing criminal enterprise" pursuant to Guideline 3(i)(2); such a conclusion generally constitutes sufficient justification for rejection from pretrial intervention.  Although defendant certified on a bi‑weekly basis that he was unemployed, and he did so for four months, this panel concluded that his conduct did not constitute a continuing criminal enterprise as set forth in the guideline.  Acknowledging that State v. Bender, 80 N.J. 84 (1979), held that the crimes must be undertaken for the purpose of enriching defendant in some material way and, taken literally, defendant clearly fit this definition pursuant to the guideline, the Appellate Division limited that Supreme Court case to its factual context (Bender involved a four‑year time period).  Parsing the words "continuing" and "enterprise," the Appellate Division concluded that defendant’s actions did not fit that concept "since it was not a ‘continuing’ enterprise . . .due to the relatively brief period of time it persisted."  Thus the court remanded the matter so that the prosecutor could reconsider defendant’s application without considering Guideline 3(i)(2).

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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