Nickels and Dimes? Rethinking the Imposition of Special Assessment Fee on Indigent Defendants

No fine is imposed if the judge determines the defendant lacks the ability to pay any fine, but every defendant is required to pay a special assessment fee of $100 for each federal crime committed. In this article, the author argues that the imposition of the fee may be a violation of the  Eighth Amendment’s protections against excessive fines, and the court should be permitted to waive the special assessment fee where the court has determined the defendant is unable to pay any fine.

You can read the full article here.

Ndjuoh MehChu
North Carolina Law Review, Vol. 99