ALI On Collateral Consequences

The new draft Model Penal Code of the American Law Institute calls for the the systematic collection and understanding about the collateral consequences of criminal convictions, so that counsel, courts, defendants, and the public can easily access information regarding the full consequences of conviction.

The proposal would require a sentencing commission to collect and maintain information on all collateral consequences as defined, whether mandatory or discretionary, and to make that information accessible to the public. It would also require the commission to regularly maintain and publish a summary, making it a reliable and easily accessible resource for individuals and their lawyers at every stage of a criminal prosecution, from charging through sentencing:

§ 6x.02. Sentencing Guidelines and Collateral Consequences.

(1) As part of the sentencing guidelines, the sentencing commission [or other designated agency] shall compile, maintain, and publish a compendium of all collateral consequences contained in [the jurisdiction’s] statutes and administrative regulations.

(a) For each crime contained in the criminal code, the compendium shall set forth all collateral consequences authorized by [the jurisdiction’s] statutes and regulations, and by federal law.

(b) The commission [or designated agency] shall ensure the compendium is kept current.

(2) The sentencing commission shall provide guidance for courts considering petitions for orders of relief from mandatory collateral consequences under §§ 6x.04 and 6x.05.  The commission’s guidance shall take into account the extent to which a mandatory consequence is substantially related to the elements and facts of an offense and likely to impose a substantial and unjustified burden on a defendant’s reintegration.

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