A new report, “Cruel and Unusual: U.S. Sentencing Practices in a Global Context,” prepared by the University of San Francisco School of Law’s Center for Law and Global Justice, compiles comparative research on sentencing laws around the globe and documents how sentencing laws distinguish the United States from other countries.
Researchers found that the United States is in the minority of countries using several sentencing practices, such as life without parole, consecutive sentences, juvenile life without parole, juvenile transfer to adult courts, and successive prosecution of the same defendant by the state and federal government. Conversely, sentencing practices promulgated under international law and used around the world, such as setting 12 as the minimum age of criminal liability and retroactive application of sentencing laws that benefit offenders, are not systematically applied in the United States. Mandatory minimum sentences for crimes and “three strikes” laws are used in the U.S. more widely than elsewhere in the world.
The full report is available at: www.usfca.edu/law/docs/criminalsentencing