The present sentencing debate focuses on which decisionmaker is best suited to make the sentencing decision. Competing positions in this debate typically view the sentencing decision as monolithic, preferring one decisionmaker over all the others. A monolithic view of the decision unnecessarily invites poor decisionmaking. The sentencing decision is properly viewed as a series of distinct decisions, each of which can best be performed by a decisionmaker with certain qualities. This Essay demonstrates how a system of optimal decisionmaking might be constructed -by sorting out the different attributes called for by the distinct aspects of the sentencing decision and matching them to the strengths and weaknesses of each potential decisionmaker.

Paul H. Robinson & Barbara A. Spellman, Sentencing Decisions: Matching the Decisionmaker to the Decision Nature, 105 Columbia Law Review, 1124–1161 (2005).
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