Title X – Dangerous Special Offender Sentencing

Undoubtedly the most controversial new provision in the Organized Crime Control Act of 1970 is title X. Title X authorizes a federal prosecuting attorney to notify the defendant and the court before trial that the defendant, if found guilty of the felony on which he is being tried, is in the prosecutor’s opinion also subject to the dangerous special offender provisions embodied in the title. Should the defendant be judged guilty of the felony, he then will fall subject to an additional penalty beyond that received for the conviction if the judge finds that he qualifies as one of three types of special offenders: recidivists, professional offenders whose crimes involve special skill or expertise, and conspirators. In addition to establishing that the defendant fits within one of these categories, the prosecutor must also show that the defendant is so dangerous that a longer period of confinement than that provided by the sentence on the felony conviction is needed to protect the public.