The editors of the Federal Sentencing Reporter asked a number of experts on sentencing in 2008 to write short pieces on what they expected after a "change" election. In 2010 the editors asked: what changed? Judge Wolff’s response, which concentrates on the states, is that the states’ dire financial conditions and the effect of the California marijuana legalization proposition, which gathered serious support but failed, have affected the public’s perceptions of sentencing policy. The public and their representatives are trying more to be smart on crime rather than tough on crime, and the public is becoming increasingly skeptical of the war on drugs.
Wolff, Michael A., What is Changing? 'The Future is Not What it Used to Be' (December 17, 2010). Federal Sentencing Reporter, Vol. 23, No. 2, p. 150, 2010, Saint Louis U. Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-32.