Source: (2013) Phoenix Law Review. 6:843-855.

This Article's suggestion grows from the idea of an indicated sentence. However, to stimulate in each conference participant more thoughtful consideration of the other participants' positions, this Article proposes that in appropriate cases an additional element-borrowed from arbitration-known as the "Last Best Offer" ("LBO") be used. Having the parties' full agreement secured at the beginning of the conference,' the process would operate as follows: before announcing the indicated sentence, the conference judge would solicit a proposed sentence from the state, from the defense, and from the victim. The judge would then have the opportunity to examine the various proposals, hear from each interested party and the respective counsel, and ask pointed questions intended to provide the parties and counsel with a better understanding of the others' legal positions, the evidence, and each side's needs. This discussion would provide an excellent opportunity for the judge to use-and to encourage others to use-active listening, empathy, and perhaps confrontation. 14 The discussion should include, at a minimum, a frank evaluation of all conditions and consequences of a settlement and guilty plea versus the consequences and likelihood of a guilty verdict after a trial. Often, these conditions and consequences are the most important considerations to the parties and their families.(excerpt)