The comprehensive reforms that govern today’s federal sentencing processes were fashioned nearly forty years ago. Those reforms were designed to address concerns regarding the effectiveness, transparency, and fairness of the preexisting indeterminant sentencing system. Today, criticisms are mounting against the very reforms that were once held out to save the sentencing process. The more determinant system is being accused of being biased against minorities, overly harsh, and costly.

This Article explores how the criminal justice system might look to technology and build on the practical experience from the indeterminant and determinant systems. Tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) can help improve many aspects of the sentencing process and allow for continued learning. While some anxiously fear AI will serve as a robotic judge, it is better characterized as a tool that can enhance human decision making. In the sentencing context, the technology can make sentencing more informed, with greater safeguards against abuse, faster and more impactful relative to the goals for sentencing established by Congress and expected by the public.



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