South Texas Law Review
The Seventieth Legislature made criminal sentencing guidelines more onerous, but a number of factors combined to undercut its impact. These changes made the relationships between the legislative, judicial, and administrative components of the criminal justice system become increasingly complex, often resulting in one agency undercutting the decisions of another. Because of the complex web of agencies that have a role in determining the disposition of a convicted defendant, changes in the rules of sentencing must be analyzed at several different levels to determine their true impact.
Despite the apparently more punitive thrust of the new legislation, no clear policy direction has emerged from legal developments in the law affecting the disposition of criminal defendants. These sentencing guidelines are more complex and create a greater possibility of confusion. Understanding the intricate interrelationships among the numerous agencies and rules that affect the disposition of a convicted defendant is essential to effective prosecution and defense of criminal cases.
John M. Schmolesky, Time Changes: Growing Complexity in Texas Sentencing Law, 30 S. Tex. L. Rev. 283 (1990).