|Sentencing Scoresheet Compliance Report
July 1, 2005 - June 30, 2006
Sentencing Scoresheet Compliance Report
This report is in fulfillment of 921.002(4)(c) Florida Statutes, which mandates that the Florida Department of Corrections shall, no later than October 1 of each year, provide the Legislature with a sentencing scoresheet compliance report. This report details the compliance of each judicial circuit in submitting to the Department sentencing scoresheets for offenders convicted of felonies between July 1, 2005 and June 30, 2006.
Included in this report is the following information:
The methodology for identifying missing scoresheets and calculating the compliance rate is described below:
Note: The sentencing scoresheet database is dynamic in that it is constantly being updated. Every effort is made to include scoresheets that are received, however, there is a lag in data entry. While this lag time is generally less than 45 days it may exceed this in some of the larger circuits. As such, as more time is allowed for the data to mature, a more accurate and complete picture of the data may be presented.
Beginning on July 1, 2001 Florida Statute 921.0024(3) gave sole responsibility for the preparation of scoresheets to the State Attorney. Previously this responsibility had been shared between the Department of Corrections and the State Attorney.
Sentencing Scoresheet Compliance Over 5 Years
In February 2000, the Florida Supreme Court, in its review of Curtis Leon Heggs, determined Chapter Law 95-184 to be unconstitutional due to a violation of the single subject rule of the Florida Constitution. This Chapter Law contained substantial changes in sentencing law referred commonly to as the "1995 Sentencing Guidelines."
In some cases, the 1995 Sentencing Guidelines provided for greater punishment than the 1994 Sentencing Guidelines. Some enhancements were made to the Guidelines, designed primarily to target offenders with more serious current or prior criminal records. There were a significant number of changes and the nature of the changes provided for significant effects for some offenders. However, many offenders sentenced under the 1995 Guidelines would have scored identically under the 1994 version of the law.
In May 2000, the Supreme Court revised and finalized their opinion in this case and further clarified who is eligible for re-sentencing. This decision stated that "only those persons adversely affected by the amendments made by Chapter Law 95-184 may rely on our decision here to obtain relief. Stated another way, in the guidelines context, we determine that if a person's sentence imposed under the 1995 Guidelines could have been imposed under the 1994 Guidelines (without a departure), then that person shall not be entitled to relief."
The Supreme Court declined to rule in Heggs as to when the window period closed for offenders claiming their guidelines sentences are invalid due to the amendments contained in Chapter Law 95-184. However, in its review of Xzavier Trapp, the Supreme Court determined that the window period for challenging the Sentencing Guidelines provisions amended in Chapter Law 95-184 opened in October 1, 1995 and closed on May 24, 1997.
Approximately 192,267 sentencing events occurred under the 1995 sentencing structure for offenses committed between October 1, 1995 and May 24, 1997, based on the Guidelines scoresheets received by the Department of Corrections through February 29, 2000. Original analysis indicated that 73,467 of these sentencing events evidenced scores adversely affected by the changes brought about in the 1995 guidelines. This analysis did not determine that the 1995 sentence was outside the range of the 1994 sentence, only that the scoresheet calculation reflected a difference in points.
Due to the potential number of re-sentencing events, it would be inaccurate to attempt to analyze and compare the 1995 sentencing guidelines to other versions of the sentencing scoresheet. As re-sentencing events occur, the original 1995 scoresheet will be replaced in the database with a 1994 scoresheet. This is necessary because the re-sentencing invalidates the original sentencing event. Likewise, the new sentence will overwrite the original sentence in DOC sentence structure and databases. A computerized record of the original sentence is not kept in the database that is used for data analysis.
As such, it is not possible to determine which scoresheets are the result of a re-sentencing or to verify that a re-sentencing event was a result of the Heggs ruling. Therefore, any analysis of this time period would yield a mixture of offenders sentenced under both the 1994 and 1995 guidelines.
For the analysis of the compliance rates, we are excluding all scoresheets with offense dates that occur from October 1, 1995 through May 24, 1997 (less than 2% of all scoresheets received).
Questions regarding this report should be directed to Research Manager, Florida Department of Corrections, Bureau of Research and Data Analysis, 2601 Blair Stone Road, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2500 or by phone at (850) 410-4488.