Maryland State Commission On Criminal Sentencing Policy - Background

Background

The Maryland General Assembly has charged the commission to "adopt existing sentencing guidelines for sentencing within the limits established by law which shall be considered by the sentencing court in determining the appropriate sentence for defendants who plead guilty or nolo contendere to, or who were found guilty of crimes in a circuit court." The commission was after several studies over a period of time showed the defendants in some of the state's less populated areas got harsher sentences than those in the rest of the state. There was also some concern over racial disparities in sentencing in criminal cases. The MSCCSP can set guidelines that are advisory, Maryland judges are not required to adhere to the guidelines; judges in the federal system generally are.

The MSCCSP was established in 1999, it collects sentencing guidelines worksheets and automates the information; monitors sentencing practices, including judicial compliance with the guidelines; and, as necessary, adopts changes to the guidelines. The Commission integrates correctional options into the guidelines and establishes criteria for determining which defendants should be eligible for correctional options.

Read more about this topic:  Maryland State Commission On Criminal Sentencing Policy

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