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Victims and Prison Release: A Modest Proposal.

O'Hara, Erin Ann
June 4, 2015

Source: (2006) Federal Sentencing Reporter. 19:130-

Given what is contained in this Essay, I feel compelled to start with a disclaimer regarding what this Essay is not about. It is not a disguised attempt to either lengthen
or shorten prison terms. It is not an attempt to thwart any of the aims of prosecutors, defense attorneys, parole officials, juries, or society at large. It is not even an
attempt to change either the criminal law enforcement budget of the state or federal governments or to change the course of how those budgets are allocated. The agenda contained in this Essay is much simpler and, therefore, perhaps hopelessly
naive. This Essay proposes that governments experiment with decisions regarding release from prison by giving victims control over the imposition of the last 10 percent of the
convict’s sentence of imprisonment. The goal is to remain agnostic about the vast majority of criminal justice debates while providing a potential benefit to crime victims. If
successful, the experiment could also produce significant benefits for criminal defendants and for society. (excerpt)


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