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64 U. Colo. L. Rev. 645 (1993)
Sentencing Reform in the States: An Overview of the Colorado Law Review Symposium

handle is hein.journals/ucollr64 and id is 675 raw text is: UNIVERSITY OF

COLORADO LAW REVIEW
Volume 64, Number 3                                                 1993
SENTENCING REFORM IN THE STATES:
AN OVERVIEW OF THE COLORADO LAW
REVIEW SYMPOSIUM
KEvIN R. REITZ*
INTRODUCTION: WHY STATE SENTENCING?
The 1993 Colorado Law Review Symposium was organized
around one idea: There is a need for increased attention, at the
policymaking level, in the judiciary, at the bar, and especially in
academia, concerning issues of sentencing reform at the state level.
Ironically, this observation comes at a time when the federal
sentencing guidelines have been generating great controversy and
an enormous literature.' Looking only to the federal sphere, we
might conclude that the long-neglected subject of sentencing policy
has, in the last few years, been receiving adequate discussion. At
the same time, however, we would be disappointed to find relatively
few evaluative studies, or legal or policy analyses, of the many
sentencing reform   efforts in state jurisdictions.2 Without deprecat-
* Associate Professor, University of Colorado School of Law; Co-Reporter, ABA
Criminal Justice Standards for Sentencing, 1989-93.
I. Recent law review symposia devoted to the federal sentencing guidelines include
Symposium on Federal Sentencing, 66 S. CAL. L. REv. 99 (1992); Symposium, Punishment,
101 YALE L.J. 1681 (1992); Symposium, Making Sense of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines,
25 U.C. DAvis L. REv. 563 (1992); Federal Sentencing Guidelines Symposium, 29 AM.
Csmw. L. REv. 771 (1992). For a sampling of other scholarship in the federal domain, see
infra note 3.
2. 1 do not mean to slight the good efforts of a handful of individuals, many of
whom have accepted invitations to be a part of this symposium. Still, there is wide agreement
that the total volume of literature devoted to state sentencing systems is unhappily small
and that important evaluative studies, needed in many jurisdictions, have been left undone.
See, e.g., Kay A. Knapp, Allocation of Discretion and Accountability Within Sentencing
Structures, 64 U. CoLo. L. REv. 679, 679 (1993) (academics have focused almost all of
their attention on the federal sentencing guidelines); Ronald F. Wright & Susan P. Ellis,

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