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Sentencing Powered By Docstoc
 Mr. Whitaker
    Unit 7
► Aggravating    Circumstances Any circumstances
  accompanying the commission of a crime that may
  justify a harsher sentence.
► Capital Punishment The use of the death
  penalty to punish wrongdoers for certain crimes.
► Determinate Sentencing A period of
  incarceration that is fixed by a sentencing
  authority and cannot be reduced by judges.
► Deterrence The strategy of preventing crime
  through the threat of punishment..
► Good Time A reduction in time served by prisoners based
  on good behavior, conformity to rules, and other positive
► Habitual Offender Laws Statutes that require lengthy
  prison sentences for those who are convicted of multiple
► Incapacitation A strategy for preventing crime by
  detaining wrongdoers in prison, thereby separating them
  from the community and reducing criminal opportunities.
► Indeterminate Sentencing An indeterminate term of
  incarceration in which a judge determines the minimum
  and maximum terms of imprisonment.
► Just  Deserts The severity of the punishment
  should be determined by no other factor than the
  severity of the crime.
► Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines Statutorily
  determined punishments that must be applied to
  those who are convicted of specific crimes.
► Mitigating Circumstances Any circumstances
  accompanying the commission of a crime that may
  justify a lighter sentence.
► Rehabilitation   The philosophy that society
  is best served when wrongdoers are not
  simply punished, but provided the resources
  needed to eliminate criminality from their
  behavioral patterns.
► Retribution The philosophy that those who
  commit criminal acts should be punished
  based on the severity of the crime and that
  no other factors need be considered.
► Sentencing    Discrimination A situation in which
  the length of a sentence appears to be influenced
  by a defendant’s race, gender, economic status, or
  other factor not directly related to the crime he or
  she committed.
► Sentencing Disparity A situation in which those
  convicted of similar crimes do not receive similar
► Sentencing Guidelines Legislatively determined
  guidelines that judges are required to follow when
  sentencing those convicted of specific crimes.
           Questions for You
► How   does someone determine what type of
  punishment is “deserved”?
► How should criminals be punished for
► Should a criminal’s well-being also be taken
  into consideration when sentenced?
► What types of crimes deserve the most
  severe punishment? And why?
       Capital Punishment Debate
► Do you believe in capital punishment for
 serious crimes?
      The Purpose of Sentencing
►    punishment serves two purposes:

1.   inflicting suffering on evildoers
2.   the prevention of crime.

►   Oldest and most common justification.
►   Relies on principle of just deserts.
►   Not the same as revenge.
►   Revenge implies satisfying the victim.
►   Retribution is more concerned with the needs of society.
► 1.  Seeks to prevent future crimes.
► 2. Takes two forms.
► a. General deterrence uses the punishment
  of one person to dissuade others from
  committing the same crime.
► b. Specific deterrence assumes that
  individuals, once punished will be less likely
  to re-offend.
       ► 1.  Incarcerating
         criminals guarantees
         that they will not
         offend while they are
       ► 2. To a certain extent,
         the death penalty is a
         form of incapacitation.
       ► 1.  Has been seen as
         most “humane” form
         of punishment.
       ► 2. The rehabilitation
         model suggests that
         criminals can be
         “treated” and possibly
 Legislative Sentencing Authority
► IndeterminateSentencing
► Determinate Sentencing
► “Good Time” and Truth in Sentencing
Indeterminate Sentencing
            ► a.  Set minimum and
              maximum amount of
              time that a person
              must spend in prison.
            ► b. The parole board
              decides when the
              prison should be
Determinate Sentencing
           ► a. Fixed sentencing.
           ► b. Offender serves
             exactly amount of time
             he/she is sentenced.
       “Good Time” and Truth in
► a. All but four states offer prisoners the
  opportunity to reduce their sentences by
  behaving well.
► b. Sentence reduction programs promote
  discipline and reduce overcrowding.
► c. Truth-in-sentencing laws require that
  serious violators serve a majority of their
  sentences with no time off for good
► Parole is an early
  release from custody
  while remaining under
  the legal custody and
  supervision of the
Individualized Justice and Judges
► Forms  of Punishment
1.Capital Punishment
Option in thirty-eight states and in federal courts.
Judges and legislatures have to take prison
overcrowding into consideration.
Offender permitted to live in the community, under
            Judge’s Punishment
4. Fines
a. Can be used in conjunction with incarceration or probation.
b. Can be used in lieu of incarceration or probation for
   offenders not considered a threat to the community.
5. Restitution and Community Service
a. Reparations paid to the injured party.
b. May also include community service or good works.
6. Restorative Justice
a. For less serious crimes.
b. The heart of restorative justice is the apology.
c. Focuses more on “healing” the harm.
           Factors in Sentencing
►  The Seriousness of the
a. The primary factor in the
   judge’s sentencing
b. Some judges consider the
   “conviction offense.”
c. Other judges sometimes
   mandated by statute
   focus on the “real
      Mitigating and Aggravating
► Mitigating   circumstances allow a lighter
► Aggravating circumstances lead a judge to
  inflict a harsher penalty than otherwise
  might have been the case.
► Judicial Philosophy
   Inconsistencies in Sentencing
Sentencing Disparity
► Criminals receive
   similar sentences for
different crimes of
   unequal seriousness.
► Criminals receive
   different sentences for
similar crimes.
   Inconsistencies in Sentencing
► Sentencing Discrimination
► Sentencing disparities due to defendant’s:
     a. Gender
     b. Race
     c. Economic standing
           Capital Punishment
► Methods of Execution
                             punishment included
► 1. Earliest forms of capital
  drawing, quartering and boiling the convict alive.
► 2. In nineteenth century hanging became the
  accepted method.
► 3. 1890s electrocution introduced as a more
  “humane” method.
► 4. In 1924, Nevada introduced lethal gas as a
  more “humane” method.
► 5. In 1982, Texas became the first state to use
  lethal injection.
                    Electric Chair
►   prisoner is strapped into
    the chair.
►   moist sponge is placed on
    the head to aid
►   initial voltage of around
    2,000 volts
►   15 seconds to attempt
    both to induce
    unconsciousness and to
    stop the heart
Lethal Injection
        ►   Sodium thiopental: to render
            the offender unconscious.
        ►   Pancuronium/Tubocurarine:
            to stop all muscle movement
            except the heart. This causes
            muscle paralysis, collapse of the
            diaphragm, and would
            eventually cause death by
        ►   Potassium chloride: to stop
            the heart from beating, and
            thus cause death: see cardiac
Gas Chamber
      ►   Method, when using cyanide
      ►   First, the execution technician will
          place a quantity of potassium
          cyanide (KCN) pellets into a
          compartment directly below the
          chair in the chamber.
      ►   The condemned person is then
          brought into the chamber and
          strapped into the chair
      ►   the airtight chamber is sealed. At
          this point
      ►   the execution technician will pour a
          quantity of concentrated sulfuric
      ►   The curtain is then opened,
          allowing the witnesses to observe
          the inside of the chamber.
      ►   Throw a switch/lever to cause the
          cyanide pellets to drop into the
          sulfuric acid, initiating a chemical
          reaction that generates hydrogen
          cyanide (HCN) gas:
 Debating the Sentence of Death
► Capital punishment is argued as the
  ultimate form of incapacitation.
► many social scientists claim there is little in
  the way of statistical support for the
  deterrence argument.
Death Penalty
       ► Fallibility
       ► Incapacitation
         argument rests on:
       ► a. Assumption that
         every convicted
         murderer is likely to
       ► b. Assumption that
         the criminal justice
         system is infallible.
► Comparing   number of known murders the
  chances of a murderer being executed are
  approximately 1,000 to 1.
► Two-thirds of the 4,578 death sentences
  issued between 1973 and 1995 have been
► Six states, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri,
  Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia account for
  nearly two-thirds of all executions.
              Partner Activity
► 1. Pick a country with your partner
► 2. On a piece of computer paper, list 5 crazy laws
  in your country
► 3. List all of the crimes that received capital
► 4. List the methods of capital punishment
► 5. Draw the country’s flag and decorate the paper
  (Must be colored)
► 6. You will present this to the class. (75 total

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