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Paying for the Past – The Case Against Prior Record Sentence Enhancements - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Paying for the Past: The Case Against Prior Record Sentence Enhancements

Julian V. Roberts and Richard S. Frase


Virtually all modern sentencing systems consider the offender’s prior record to be an important determinant of the form and severity of punishment, often carrying more weight than the crime being sentenced. Repeat offenders “pay for their past,” even though they have already been punished for their prior crimes. And the majority of sentenced offenders have at least one prior conviction. This topic thus lies at the heart of the sentencing process; every well-designed sentencing scheme needs to have a carefully conceived approach to the use of prior convictions. But the vast literature on senten ... More

Keywords: sentencing, sentencing guidelines, punishment, criminal history, prior record enhancements, racial disparity, punishment proportionality, purposes of punishment

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780190254001
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190254001.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Julian V. Roberts, author
University of Oxford

Richard S. Frase, author
University of Minnesota

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