June 5, 2017
Members of the American Law Institute (ALI) voted at the end of May 2017 at the organization’s 2017 annual meeting to approve the final draft ofModel Penal Code: Sentencing, a 15-year project led by Reporter Professor Kevin Reitz, Co-Director of the Robina Institute at the University of Minnesota Law School, and Associate Reporter Associate Professor Cecelia Klingele, University of Wisconsin Law School and Robina Institute of Criminal Law and Criminal Justice.
“This is an enormous accomplishment,” said Dean Garry W. Jenkins (University of Minnesota Law School). “Sentencing is contentious by its nature, and this project involved working closely with professors, judges, practitioners, and others, all of whom had strong opinions. It was a marathon of investigating, listening, debating, drafting, and redrafting—and in guiding it to a successful conclusion, Professor Reitz has done a great service to the legal profession, the law, and the nation.”
The project, launched in 2001, re-examines the sentencing provisions of the ALI’s 1962 Model Penal Code in light of the many changes in sentencing philosophy and practice that have taken place since its original publication. It provides guidance on some of the most important issues that courts, corrections systems, and policymakers are facing today: general purposes of the sentencing system; rules governing severity—including sentences of incarceration, community supervision, and economic penalties; the elimination of mandatory minimum penalties; mechanisms for combating racial and ethnic disparities in punishment; instruments of prison population control; victims’ rights in the sentencing process; the creation of judicial powers to review many collateral consequences of conviction; sentencing commissions, sentencing guidelines, and more.
From the American Law Institute on the Model Penal Code: Sentencing:
“The Model Penal Code took 300 years of American criminal law and distilled a coherent and philosophically justifiable statement of the bounds and details of the criminal sanction. Work on the Code itself was largely completed by 1962; the six volumes of updated and greatly expanded Commentaries that were published between 1980 and 1985 were limited to Parts I and II and therefore did not address the sentencing and corrections provisions. The current project is revisiting those provisions in light of the many changes in sentencing philosophy and practice that have taken place in the more than 40 years since these matters were first addressed in the Model Code. The project also takes into account the contemporary controversy about the appropriate length of American criminal sentences and the present widespread dissatisfaction with the rules and procedures used to determine them.”
Read more about the Model Penal Code: Sentencing, here.