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3 Offender Rehab. 3 (1978-1979)

handle is hein.journals/wjor3 and id is 1 raw text is: 


                ON SENTENCING

                Among the more remarkable qualities of the Amer-
ican experience are periodic, unpredictable bursts of national unity.
We have grown familiar with backbiting, dissent, discontent, and
such specific foci of disunity as the split over abortion and capital
punishment, the controversy on rehabilitation, strikes by public em-
ployees, and the socialization of health services. But who could
have foreseen the massive and steadily increasing outpouring-during
the 1970s-of solid agreement that the true administration of jus-
tice, as it is being practiced, is unfair, that the sentencing process is
terribly askew, and that the sooner we do something about it, the
better off we'll be. The intensity of the perceived need to do sorne-
thing has gotten so strong that many clamor that it is better to do
anything in the name of fairness than to leave the situation alone. A
quiet minority holds that unless carefully thought through, tested,
and widely agreed upon, implementing change in sentencing may
exacerbate existing confusion and bring on chaos and eventual col-
lapse of a concededly bad system but the only one going for us at the
nlomen t,
  During May 1978, on the occasion of the inauguration of the
Peter Rodino Institute of Criminal Justice, an all-day symposium
addressed the topic of' unequal justice, especially as it applies to sen-
tencing. Many federal and state officials convened. There were judges,
prosecutors, court administrators, defense counsel, research scientists,
and academicians. Thoughtfully prepared papers were read, and cau-
tious responses were made, but the sum of it all was that apart from
the unanimous agreement that there were things awfully wrong in
                 Of)enderf97 habITiatwn.VoL 3 I), all  3197
                 0 1978 by'the Ihtwotlhl Press. All rigins uwnel d,

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