- The state allows certain first-time offenders to continue working or attending school while serving their sentence at a minimum-security facility.
Art. 1, § 8. Bail, fines and punishments: Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel punishments inflicted; and all punishments ought to be proportioned to the offense.
Judges may sentence certain first-time offenders to terms in minimum-security, overnight facilities and allow them to continue reporting to work or school during business hours. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19-2(b). Corrections officials may charge these first-time prisoners for their stays. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19-2(e).
The state mandates sentencing enhancements of up to 25 additional years in prison for offenders upon their third felony conviction. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19-21.
Each year the justices of the superior court (with approval of the justices of the state’s supreme court) adopt a schedule of presumptive sentences for each type of felony that constituted more than 5% of the criminal caseload in the superior court during the preceding year. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19.3-2. Trial judges may stray from the presumptive range when they find “substantial and compelling circumstances” which justify an alternative sentence. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19.3-3. The aggrieved party has 20 days to appeal a sentence that departs upwardly (the defendant) or downwardly (the state) from the presumptive range. R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19.3-4.
The state supreme court will uphold a postconviction relief decision absent clear error or a determination that the hearing justice misconceived or overlooked material evidence. Rodrigues v. State, 985 A.2d 311 (R.I. 2009).
The penalty enhancements under the state’s habitual offender statute are mandatory, and a trial judge commits reversible error if he or she refuses to impose an additional sentence on a defendant found to be a habitual offender. State v. Chielli, 762 A.2d 450 (R.I. 2000).
The proportionality principles embodied in the state constitution are “identical” to those of the federal constitution. State v. Monteiro, 924 A.2d 784, 795 (R.I. 2007). The court will overturn a sentence when it is unduly harsh when compared to the crime. McKinney v. State, 843 A.2d 463, 470 (R.I. 2004). The court will conduct a comparative analysis of sentences for similar convictions only if it first finds that the sentence is unduly harsh when compared to the crime. McKinney, 843 A.2d at 470.
Court upheld a five-year assault sentence, with a 25-year enhancement pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws § 12-19-21, against a prisoner who threw urine and feces at a correctional officer. The offender was sentenced to a total of seven years worth of additional time, with 23 years of probation. State v. Lyons, 924 A.2d 756 (R.I. 2007).
Court upheld 20-year sentence for second-degree child molestation and simple assault; sentence was “far in excess” of those generally imposed for second-degree child molestation convictions, according to a statistical analysis provided during the postconviction relief hearing. Alessio v. State, 924 A.2d 751, 755 (R.I. 2007).
Court reinstated plea-bargained sentence of 60 years (defendant to serve 40) stemming from an armed robbery during which the defendant fired shots at a security guard and police officer. McKinney, 843 A.2d at 465.
Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
Death Investigation: Forensic Pathology in the Courtroom and Cause & Manner of Death (2022)
This unique program provides criminal defense lawyers with an accurate and clear overview of forensic pathology and the countless factors to consider in a death investigation and will methodically explain what happens during an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
You'll uncover the different types of medicolegal death investigations, what to request from your MDI expert, quality benchmarks for accreditation and certification, guidelines and standards, common terminology and frequently asked questions.
The Psychology of Persuasion & Storytelling for Criminal Defense Lawyers
This Trial Resource Guide is a masterful collection of practical tips, techniques and strategies focused solely on using the arts and sciences of persuasion to improve your storytelling skills at trial.
You'll learn how to master the ability to communicate with juries, deliver powerful openings and closings, perform convincing cross-examinations, use effective courtroom choreography and non-verbal communication, identify and develop the optimal theme and theory for your case, and offer compelling arguments during mitigation and sentencing.
Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases (2022)
Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. This year’s 13th Annual Defending Sex Cases training program is our best yet; packed with topics and speakers you won’t want to miss!