CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: SENTENCING
Adjunct Professor: Josh Lee
I. Purpose: The purpose of this course is to familiarize you with the general principles of substantive law,
procedural law, and practice that determine how criminal offenders are sentenced—with particular emphasis on
the federal and Arkansas state sentencing systems. By the end of the course, you should be able to articulate
these principles, explain the policy arguments and philosophical perspectives by which they are justified and
critiqued, and apply them to scenarios likely to arise in the everyday practices of judges, prosecutors, and defense
attorneys. In addition, after this course, you should be comfortable utilizing the primary statutes, guidelines, and
case law that governs sentencing in Arkansas state and federal courts.
II. Course Materials:
A. Required Book - Nora Demleitner, Douglas Berman, Marc Miller, Ronald F. Wright, Sentencing Law
and Policy: Cases, Statutes, and Guidelines (2nd ed. 2007) (“SL&P”).
B. Required Supplement (Free Download) - Demleitner et al., 2008-09 Supplement for Sentencing Law
and Policy: Cases, Statutes, and Guidelines (“Supp.”), available as a handout.
B. Other Required Reading - Handouts, usually focused on Arkansas law, will be posted at the class
D. Suggested Reading -
• Free weblog - Douglas Berman, Sentencing Law and Policy, http://sentencing.typepad.com/
• Class outlines - my personal notes of the material we covered in class, posted to the class site.
III. Class Agendas and Reading Assigments:
Review Syllabus SL&P 1-9, 12-16
Ch. 1: The Purposes of Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-801(a)
Henderson v. State (Ark. 1995)
Sources of Sentencing Law
Ch. 2: Who Sentences? SL&P 85 thru the bottom of 89, note 4 on page 93, note 5 and problem 2-1
on page 94
a) The Indeterminate/
Discretionary Sentencing System Arkansas Parole Board Handout
b) Jury Sentencing Review Henderson
SL&P 100-04, (skip Military Rules), 105-07
Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-103
Ark. Code Ann. § 16-97-102
c) A Primer on SL&P 107-20
SL&P 120-21, 126-28.
d) The Prosecutor
Handout: The Prosecutor’s Charging Discretion Under Arkansas Law.
e) Appellate Courts
SL&P Chapter 2:D—first two paragraphs on 129-30 and note 2 on 136-37.
Donaldson v. State, 257 S.W.3d 74 (Ark. 2007)
1/21 MLK holiday MLK holiday
Guest Speaker: SL&P 139 thru first paragraph of 147; 150-52; 154-59.
Larry Jegley, From Arkansas Sentencing Commission website:
Prosecuting Attorney • “Introduction to Sentencing Standards” (at “About Us” link).
6th Judicial District of Ark. • “Short Table of Common Crimes” (at link “Offense Seriousness
Ch. 3: Regulating Discretion • “Arkansas Sentencing Standards Grid” (at Benchbook link p. 11)
• “Criminal History Worksheet Instructions (at “Forms” link)
a) Introduction to Sentencing • “Criminal History Worksheet” (at “Forms” link)
Guidelines • “Departure Report” (at “Forms” link)
Note: It is particularly important that you print the ASC
b) The Nuts and Bolts of materials for class, as we will be calculating Arkansas
Calculating an Arkansas Guideline Sentences.
c) Are the Arkansas Sentencing Pickett v. State, 321 Ark. 224, 902 S.W.2d 208 (1995)
Harmon v. State, 8 S.W.3d 472 (Ark. 2000)
Ark. R. Crim. P. 25.3
Ark. R. Crim. P. 26.1
d) The Federal Sentencing SL&P 159-178, notes 1 and 3 on 180-82.
e) The Nuts and Bolts of Prepare and present selected exercises from www.ussc.gov.
Calculating an FSG Sentence.
f) The Impact of Booker and Rita SL&P 182-215, except for the following: On pages 212-13, replace the last
textual paragraph and charts with Supp. 5.
2/11 Exam 1 Review previous readings, as discussed.
f) Constitutional Regulation of the SL&P 217-47.
SL&P 248 (first two paragraphs).
Constitutional Regulation of the
Death Penalty (continued) Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-602–05.
Ch. 4: Sentencing Inputs - The SL&P 273-81, 283-88
Crime and its Effects
a) Uncharged Misconduct
2/23 SL&P 288-89
b) Multiple Convictions
Acklin v. State, 606 S.W.2d 594 (Ark. 1980) .
c) Role in a Group Offense
SL&P notes 2, 3, 4, and 8 on pgs. 293-95; 296-01
d) Offense Seriousness SL&P 301-303
e) Quantifying Harm Review “Short Table of Common Crimes”
2/25 f) State of Mind SL&P 311-13
Supp. 21 (first paragraph only)
SL&P 313-20 (skip problem 4-7)
Ch. 5: Sentencing Inputs - The SL&P 339-63
3/2 a) Prior Criminal Record
Benson v. State, No. 03-623, 164 S.W.3d 495 (Ark. App. May 5, 2004).
Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-501(c)(1)-(3)
b) “Acceptance of Responsibility” SL&P 363-82
3/4 and “Assistance to the
c) The Character and SL&P 383-432
Circumstances of the Defendant
Crawford v. State, No. 04-1114, 208 S.W.3d146 (Ark. May 12, 2005).
Marshall v. State, No. 00-019, 27 S.W.3d 392 (Ark. Sept. 28, 2000). \
Marcel Wayne Williams v. Norris (E.D. Ark. 2008).
3/11 Exam 2
Ch. 6: Procedure and Proof at SL&P 433-60
Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-102
Phipps v. State, No. 02-692, 2003 WL 22407429 (Ark. App. Oct. 22, 2003).
b) The Jury Clause and
3/18 c) The Jury Clause and the SL&P 460-75
3/23 Spring Break Spring Break
3/25 Spring Break Spring Break
d) Plea Bargaining SL&P 475-512
e) Presentence Reports and Ark. Code Ann. § 16-90-102
Ark. Code Ann. § 5-4-102
f) Sentencing Hearings SL&P 512-16
Review SL&P 102-103 and Ark. Code Ann. § 16-97-102.
Ch. 7/8/10: Imprisonment and
SL&P 37-38, 524-46, 552-59.
a) The human and social costs of
b) Probation SL&P 600-614
4/8 Reeves v. State, No. 98-872, 5 S.W.3d 41 (Dec. 2, 1999).
Thornton v. State, 590 S.W.2d 57 (Ark. App. 1979).
c) Registration and other Cecilio Gonzales v. W.A. Duncan (9th Cir. Dec. 30 2008).
alternatives to imprisonment
4/13 SL&P 20-26.
d) Statutory limits on the use of
alternative sanctions Ark. Code Ann. §§ 5-4-104, 301, 303(a)-(c), (e), 309(d), (f)(1)(A), 310(b).
Ch. 11: Judicial SL&P 779-812
4/15 Review of
Ch. 9: Race and Sentencing SL&P 673-700.
4/22 Exam 3
4/27 Final Exam Review
IV. Grades: The final grade will be calculated as follows:
Attendance, Preparation, Participation: 10%
Interim Exam 1: 20%
Interim Exam 2: 20%
Interim Exam 3: 20%
Final Exam: 30%
An average exam will receive a grade of 3.0 (or B-).
V. Exams: There will be four exams, each consisting of one or more essays and short-answer questions. The first
three exams will be one hour long and cover only new material. The final exam will be three hours long and
comprehensive. All exams will be open book and open notes. In accordance with general UALR policy, your
exam may be rescheduled in cases of “extraordinary hardship.” You must request rescheduling from me prior to
VI. Attendance, Preparation, and Participation:
A. Basic Policy: This class will meet every Monday from 7:05 pm to 9:05 pm and every Wednesday from
6:00 pm to 6:55 pm in Room 303. You are expected to attend class, to be prepared for class, and to be on
time. An attendance roster will be circulated at the beginning of every class period. You are responsible
for initialing the roster. You will be counted as late if you arrive after the attendance roster has finished
circulating. If you arrive more than thirty minutes after class begins, you will be counted as absent.
Reading assignments are listed on the Syllabus above. I anticipate some adjustments to the assignments
during the semester. Unless I announce a modification, you are responsible for completing the
assignment stated on the Syllabus before the class period beside which it is listed.
B. Assessment: Attendance, preparation, and participation will be graded weekly on the following scale:
Attending both classes for the week: 10 points
Attending only Monday: 6 points
Attending only Wednesday: 4 points
Attending neither class: 0 points
The weekly grade will be reduced by two points each time you arrives late for class, leave early from
class, or prove to be clearly unprepared during class discussion. You may receive a bonus point for
making an exceptional contribution to class discussion, up to a maximum of one point per week. Class
participation is judged on quality, not quantity. At the end of the semester, the fourteen weekly grades1
will be averaged, and this average will represent the “AP&P” portion of the final grade. Because missing
one or two classes will not have a significant impact on the final grade, there is no system of excused or
VII. Computer Policy: Laptop computers will not be allowed on ordinary class days, and you should come prepared
to take notes with pen and paper. You are encouraged to use a laptop for test-taking purposes if you have one
and feel comfortable using it.
VIII. Contacting the Professor: You should feel free to contact me at any time with questions, concerns, or
suggestions. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and will almost always respond within a matter of hours.
Although I do not maintain regular office hours, if you would like to speak with me in person, we can set up an
appointment before or after class, or you can email me.
IX. Disability Policy: It is the policy of UALR to accommodate students with disabilities as required by state and
federal law. If you have a disability and need accommodation, for example, in seating placement or in
arrangements for examinations, please inform me at the beginning of the course. Your personal information will
not be disclosed to any other student or to anyone else other than those necessary to accommodate you. You are
also encouraged to speak with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and with the Office of Disability Support
Services, either before, after, or instead of speaking with me about these issues.
There are thirteen full weeks, and the week of the MLK holiday as well as the final week will each be
counted as a 1/2 week for grading purposes.