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Hessicks co-author article in 'Alabama Law Review'

March 03, 2009

Professors Carissa Byrne Hessick and Andrew Hessick, of the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, have co-authored an article, "Appellate Review of Sentencing Decisions," in the Alabama Law Review.

The authors note that when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down mandatory use of the federal sentencing guidelines, it authorized appellate courts to conduct reasonableness reviews of sentencing decisions. 

According to the authors, the two objectives of this scheme - giving district courts discretion but cabining that discretion through reasonableness review - are in tension with each other. Moreover, the authors argue that, in balancing these conflicting aims in subsequent cases, the Supreme Court has sacrificed the central functions of appellate review - error correction and law making - and simultaneously created confusion by not acknowledging the tension at the heart of the new sentencing doctrine.

Read the article here.

Judy Nichols,
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law