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Criminal Law

Primary Authority and Government Resources

Arizona Criminal Court Sentencing Chart
This resource gathers sentencing guidance and related information from 1978 to present.

United States Sentencing Commission Guidelines Manual
This federal resource includes a sentencing table and related information on offenses, circumstances producing sentencing adjustments, victims' rights, and prison alternatives. Also available on Westlaw (Westlaw password required) and Lexis (Lexis password required).

Federal Death Penalty 
Title 18, Chapter 228 of the United States Code details the federal death penalty law, including factors to determine whether capital punishment is warranted, people excluded from the penalty's scope, and procedures for judicial review. The Justice Department issues regulations regarding the Federal Death Penalty Act.

Arizona Death Penalty
Title 13, Chapter 7.1 of the Arizona Revised Statutes concerns capital sentencing, including aggravating and mitigating factors and automatic state Supreme Court Review of death sentences.

Texts and Treatises

ASU has a number of online and print resources related to criminal sentencing. Below is a short list of relevant title from the ASU Library collection and from online resources available to Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students and faculty. You can search for additional resources in the ASU Library catalog by using subject headings such as: Criminal procedure -- United States and Sentences (criminal procedure). Print books available in other ASU libraries may be requested and delivered to you at the law library.

Federal Sentencing Law & Practice (Thomas W. Hutchison & Sigmund Popko, 2019) (Westlaw password required)
This treatise, available electronically on Westlaw, assist judges and attorneys in understanding and applying sentencing guidelines. The first nine chapters of the book annotate the United States Sentencing Commission's Guidelines Manual. The last two chapters of the book offer the authors' explanation and analysis of two crucial aspects of practice under the guidelines. Chapter 10 deals with departures from the guidelines, and Chapter 11 deals with appellate review of sentences. 

Law of Sentencing (Arthur W. Campbell, 2019) (Westlaw password required)
This treatise, also available on Westlaw, focuses and clarifies the recurring sentencing issues confronted by courts, counsel, and corrections officials and covers issues involving sentencing rationales, alternatives, and systems. The author also addresses types of sentencing, including probation sentences and death sentences, and explores constitutional considerations, basic sentencing principles, and judicial sentencing review.

ASU has a number of online and print resources related to the death penalty. Below is a short list of relevant titles from the ASU Library collection and from online resources available to Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law students and faculty. You can search for additional resources in the ASU Library catalog by using subject headings such as Capital Punishment or Death Penalty. Print books available in other ASU libraries may be requested and delivered to you at the law library.

Against Capital Punishment (Benjamin S. Yost, 2019)
Rather than argue against the immorality of putting condemned prisoners to death, the author contends that the threat of irreversible, catastrophic mistakes that preclude any remedy makes the death penalty inappropriate.

Against the Death Penalty (Stephen G. Breyer, 2016)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer argues that capital punishment violates the Constitution as cruel and unusual punishment.

Death Penalty Cases (Barry Latzer, 2011)
Tracing the development of U.S. capital punishment through United States Supreme Court decisions.

Death Penalty in a Nutshell (Victor L. Streib et al., 2017)
Traces the development of U.S. death penalty law including its longstanding political debate, and details substantive and procedural issues particular to capital criminal cases. Also available on West Academic (available on campus or through personal account).

Death Penalty and the Victims (United Nations, 2016)
Exploring the issue from the perspective of surviving relatives of murder victims as well as family members who lost loved ones to executions that violated human rights.

Deterrence and the Death Penalty (National Research Council, 2012)
A scientific and statistical study of capital punishment's effect in preventing capital crimes.

Executing Democracy (Vol. I and Vol. II) (Stephen John Hartnett, 2012)
Examining the debate about capital punishment and how it shaped the development of the United States' political systems from Colonial times to the pre-Civil War era.

Race and the Death Penalty (David P. Keys and R.J. Maratea, 2015)
Arguing that racial disparities and discrimination in the capital punishment system have severe, wide ranging human consequences.

Web Resources

Cornell Law School: Death Penalty Worldwide
This law school affiliated resource provides information about countries' posture on the death penalty, along with a blog and information about efforts to oppose capital punishment.

Criminal Justice Abstracts with Full Text (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
This resource includes bibliographic records and full text of journals related to criminal justice and criminology. Subjects covered include: corrections, prisons, criminal investigations, forensic sciences, investigation, substance abuse, addiction, probation, and parole.

Google Scholar  
Allows searching of multidisciplinary scholarly literature including articles, papers, books, abstracts, and technical reports from a wide variety of resources.

HeinOnline - Criminal Justice Law Reviews and Journals (available on campus or remotely with ASURITE)
HeinOnline provides full-text, image-based PDF access to 78 law reviews and journals that publish content specific to criminal justice.

HeinOnline – History of Capital Punishment (available on campus or through ASURITE)
This resource gathers books and academic articles, government hearings, audio and video files, graphics, and artifacts concerning the death penalty.

Lexis - Criminal Law and Procedure Practice Area (Lexis password required)
This Lexis page compiles resources specific to criminal law and criminal procedure including cases, statutes, regulations, secondary sources, and news. 

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty Blog
This advocacy group discusses current events, upcoming executions, and the history of the punishment.

National Criminal Justice Reference Service   
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) is a federally funded resource offering reports, journals, statistics and other information on subjects relating to criminology, criminal justice, substance abuse, corrections, policy, crime victims, and program development worldwide.

Westlaw - Criminal Law Practice Area (Westlaw password required)
This Westlaw page provides access to a variety of materials specific to criminal law, including cases, statutes, regulations, secondary sources, and news. 

Bloomberg Law - White Collar and Criminal Law News (Bloomberg Law password required)
This news service from Bloomberg Law provides news and analysis related to criminal law. Content can be filtered for sentencing-specific articles.

CrimProf Blog
This blog, part of the Law Professor Blog Network, is edited by Kevin Cole, a criminal law and procedure professor at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Sentencing Law and Policy Blog
Another Law Professor Blog Network blog, this resource is edited by Douglas Berman, a law professor at Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University; Professor Berman's scholarship and teaching focus on criminal law and criminal sentencing.

Arizona Death Penalty History
This state government website details the history of capital punishment in Arizona. The page Arizona Death Row includes information on inmates currently sentenced to be executed.

Bureau of Justice Statistics
The Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) collects, analyzes, publishes, and disseminates information on crime, criminal offenders, victims of crime, and the operation of justice systems at all levels of government.

Criminal Justice Legal Foundation
This group advocates for swift and certain punishment for criminals by filing amicus curiae briefs and publicizing information on cases, including many that involve the death penalty.

CRS Reports - Crime Policy
EveryCRSReport.com provides access to Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that are specific to criminal justice. CRS reports are authoritative, objective, and nonpartisan reports prepared for members of Congress.

The Death Penalty Information Center
The Death Penalty Information Center is a national non-profit organization serving the media and the public with analysis and information on issues concerning capital punishment. The Center also hosts podcast discussions with experts on death penalty news and legal and ethical debates. 

National Archive of Criminal Justice Data
The National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) archives and disseminates data on crime and justice for secondary analysis. It is located at the University of Michigan and is sponsored by the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention of the United States Department of Justice.

National Center for State Courts - Sentencing Resource Guide
The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works for the betterment of state courts. The NCSC Sentencing Resource Guide provides information on and links to many resources related to sentencing at the state and federal level.

National Conference of State Legislatures - Corrections and Sentencing
The National Conference of State Legislatures webpage on corrections and sentencing provides links to information, reports, and data on criminal sentencing at the state level. 

Pro Death Penalty
This advocacy group delves into the history of convicted murderers on death row and their victims, and it provides links to information on correctional systems and inmates in each state.

United States Sentencing Commission 
The U.S. Sentencing Commission (USSC) is a bipartisan, independent agency located in the judicial branch of government, created by Congress in 1984 to reduce sentencing disparities and promote transparency and proportionality in sentencing. The Comission offers a wide variety of information and resources on its website, a few of which are highlighted below.

  • USSC Research Reports
    The USSC periodically publishes research reports that focus on a single area of the federal criminal justice system. They often include a summary of the historical development of specific statutes and corresponding Sentencing Guidelines and an overview of statistics on the specific issue. This page provides access to these research reports back to 1990.
  • USSC Interactive Sourcebook of Federal Sentencing Statistics
    The Interactive Sourcebook allows users to re-create tables and information from the Commission's printed Sourcebooks of sentencing statistics in a number of ways and customize the static tables and figures presented in the printed Sourcebook.