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Structured Sentencing in Florida: Is the Experiment Over?

NCJ Number
Law & Policy Volume: 20 Issue: 3 Dated: July 1998 Pages: 281-309
John Hogenmuller
Keith Hawkins, Murray Levine
Date Published
29 pages
This article considers the history of structured sentencing in Florida, beginning with initial efforts to establish sentencing guidelines in 1977 and culminating in legislative action that abolishes the guidelines effective October 1, 1998, and establishes the Florida Criminal Punishment Code effective the same date.
The article's conclusion is that structured sentencing has never been widely accepted in Florida and that the Florida Criminal Punishment Code will probably be received in the same manner. Sentencing guidelines have been perceived by prosecutors and law enforcement officials as too lenient and by judges as too restrictive on their discretion. Outside factors such as prison population growth and political concerns have had a tremendous effect on sentencing policy. It is unlikely that the process of constant ferment and change in the Florida sentencing system will end any time soon, since the Florida Criminal Punishment Code embodies essentially the same structure and principles as the guidelines it replaces. 4 tables, 4 figures, 8 notes, and 17 references


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