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The Sentencing Process
The sentencing process

The most difficult task facing a criminal court judge is sentencing a defendant…. Judges are aware of the horrible conditions awaiting defendants sentenced to penal institutions, just as they are cognizant of the general ineffectiveness of the probation sentence. Compassionate judges are aware of the inability of either form of sentence to adequately prevent the defendant from returning to society even more embittered and committed to a continued life of crime.

—Paul Wice, Judges & Lawyers (1991:273)

In February 2001, Colorado District Court Judge David Lass sentenced Nathan Hall, a former lift attendant at the Vail ski resort, to 90 days in county jail for the ski slope collision that killed Alan Cobb in 1997. Hall, who was 18 years old at ...

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