The Volokh Conspiracy

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Volokh Conspiracy

'Super-aggravated' crimes and sentences


It's common to have "aggravated" versions of crimes, where some circumstance leads to a much higher sentence (e.g., "aggravated assault" as opposed to simple assault); likewise, one sometimes hears of aggravated sentences.

But I just learned that Arizona courts have, since 1997, spoken of "super-aggravated" sentences, which are beyond the normal level of aggravated sentences; and Texas courts, since 2009, of "super-aggravated sexual assault" (apparently, sexual assault of a young child, which one should expect would be treated as an extremely serious crime). Bad behavior, but also an interesting label, likely because it sounds more colloquial than you'd expect a court to use.