SENTENCING AND POST-CONVICTION LAW
(LAWD-4006) - 3 UNITS
This course provides an overview of sentencing law and policy as well as post-conviction remedies, with an emphasis on California sentencing law, as well as the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
Sentencing is the most ubiquitous and yet the most invisible aspect of the criminal legal system. While only about 5% of criminal cases are resolved by trial, 100% of criminal cases result in a sentence or disposition. The California and federal sentencing systems are complex and ever-changing, particularly during the 21st century, where they have been the primary subject of criminal justice reform.
Students who take this course can expect to learn: the basic policy and structure of California and federal sentencing law, including: the California determinate and indeterminate sentencing system; conduct, prior conviction, gang and gun enhancements; the Federal Sentencing Guidelines; immigration consequences of sentencing; diversion and alternatives to sentencing; collateral consequences of conviction; post-conviction sentencing remedies; victim's rights at sentencing; and parole. Through simulations and in-class exercises, students can expect to achieve basic mastery of sentencing argument and calculation, as well as the use of aggravating and mitigating factors in sentence advocacy.
The course is 3 units, as follows: First, there is a two-hour lecture each week, covering the law, regulation and policy of sentencing and post-conviction. Second, there will be a one-hour practicum each week, to be scheduled by vote of the class, which will cover the practical application of sentencing, through sentencing problems and simulations, discussion, and guest speakers who create policy and practice in this area of law.