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Sentencing Law

This course examines the laws and policies that guide the determination of punishment with a focus on federal sentencing. Topics will include the purposes of sentencing; the Guidelines; mandatory minimums versus discretionary sentencing; departures and variances from the Guidelines; cooperation with law enforcement; plea bargaining; the roles of the prosecutor, defense attorney, victim, and judge; restitution, fines, and forfeiture; collateral consequences and sentences reconsidered. Students will engage with practical exercises using the Guidelines to learn how to calculate sentences based on various facts. The course may also involve guest presenters from various sectors of the sentencing process. GRADE Students will have the option to write a paper on a topic to be approved, or take an exam at the end of the semester.