Criminal Law – The Sentencing Process (Part 4)

by | Dec 23, 2015 | Blog, Criminal Law, Jail Time and Probation, Legal Procedures

A court may consider other matters that it finds mitigating even if not listed in the statute. State v. Rice, 425 N.J. Super. 375, 381 (App. Div. 2012). In addition to the enumerated mitigating factors, restrictions on the defendant that will not serve to offset the time that she will be incarcerated should be considered in determining what a fair sentence is under all of the circumstances. See State v. Mirakaj, 268 N.J . Super. 48 (App. Div. 1993).

In State v. Evers, 174 N.J. 355 (2003), the defendant’s entering into long term psychological treatment after a child pornography arrest was entitled to great weight. The pre-trial requiring of the defendant to live in a convent is a factor that should be considered. State v. Mirakaj, 268 N.J. Super. 48 (App. Div. 1993). The fact that a defendant was wrongly told to report to a probation officer during his appeal is entitled to mitigating weight upon re-sentencing. State v. Christensen, 270 N.J. Super. 650 (App. Div. 1994). Every guilty plea should be considered for mitigating weight when it demonstrates an acceptance of responsibility and contributes to the efficient administration of justice. State v. Balfour, 135 N.J. 30 (1994).

When imposing a sentence of imprisonment the court shall consider the defendant ‘s eligibility for release under the law governing parole, including time credits awarded pursuant to Title 30 of the Revised Statutes, in determining the appropriate term of imprisonment.

N.J.S. A . 2C :44-l(c)(2). See State v . Kye, 257 N .J. Super. 600, 602 (Law Div. 1992) (regarding ISP eligibility) and N.J.S.A. 30:4-140 (regarding parole eligibility).

A sentence cannot stand if it involves “excessive disparity” between similarly situated defendants. See State v. Roach, 167 N.J. 565, 571 (2001).