Source: (2010) Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal. 7: 201-222.
Imagine yourself seated in a darkened theater at the start of a
performance. The heavy velour curtain rises. A single spotlight
illuminates a circle in the center of the stage. Your attention is
riveted on the story unfolding within the circumference of that pool
of light. Contemporary traditional California courts have commonly
used a similar spotlight approach to assess offender sentences in
criminal cases. With limited resources, and operating for many
years within the constraints of California’s heavy emphasis on
retributive sentencing, courts generally focused primarily on the
following criteria: the current offense, any allegation of parole or
probation violation, the offender’s criminal history, the offender’s
remorse and/or plea, and local and prescribed sentencing practices. It is with this approach that California’s prisons have grown to their
current overwhelmed capacity. (Excerpt).
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