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Seminar Topical Research Guides: Criminal Sentencing


Choosing a Paper Topic Research Guide
This research guide from the Ross-Blakley Law Library is designed for students who are writing a substantive legal research paper and are looking for guidance on how to begin. The guide details sources for help in selecting a paper topic and offers insight in how to check whether your paper will add new information to the field of law.

Conducting a Preemption Check Research Guide
This research guide details the recommended steps for conducting a preemption check, as well as provides information on and links to a variety of resources for conducting a thorough check.


The reference librarians at the Ross-Blakley Law Library are happy to help you find or navigate research resources. 

Librarians are available 9am-4pm Monday-Thursday and 9am-2pm on Friday by phone or by email.

Reference: (480) 965-7161
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Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law (COL) Students


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.

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 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. 


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.

CRS Reports - Crime Policy 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. 

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. 

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.


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.

Westlaw – Current Sentencing Practice News (Westlaw password required)
Current Sentencing Practice News is a quarterly newsletter that publishes content on the Court's powers of sentencing and the procedure to be followed.  It includes a selection of sentencing decisions from the Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) and the Divisional Court.


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 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.