The Sentence Review Division (the "Division") is established and governed pursuant to Section 46-18-901, et. seq., MCA, wherein the Chief Justice of the Montana Supreme Court appoints three district court judges to act as a review division of the Montana Supreme Court. Each judge serves a three-year term, with one judge designated as the presiding officer or chairperson. Additionally, the Chief Justice appoints an alternate judge to serve a three-year term. The alternate judge substitutes in the hearing(s) when the sentencing judge is a member of the Division.
A Defendant who has received a sentence of incarceration for a term of one year or more in the Montana State Prison or to the custody of the Montana Department of Corrections, has a right to apply to the Sentence Review Division for a review of his/her district court sentence. The Division has adopted Rules that clarify and expedite its application and review process. The sentence imposed by the district court is presumed correct. However, upon its review, the Division may order a different sentence to be imposed if it is clearly inadequate or clearly excessive (increase, decrease or modify) or may affirm the sentence imposed by the district court. The Defendant has a right to appear and be represented by counsel at his/her sentence review hearing or may waive that right.
A Decision of the Division in each case is final. The Decisions are published annually in the Montana State Reporter, are filed with the Clerk of District Court where the case originated, and will be posted on this site for two years.