Sentencing Options

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					    Chapter 15

Sentencing Options

        Why do we sentence?

 Should the punishment fit the crime?
Should the punishment fit the criminal?
Philosophies of Punishment

      Restorative Justice

Should we direct punishment toward the
       future deterrence of crime?


Should we direct punishment toward the
past behavior of criminals to compensate
    for the severity of the crime and
       the suffering of the victim?
                    “Lex Talionus”
         An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.


                     Just Desserts

The severity of the punishment should be proportionate to
          the gravity of the defendant‟s conduct.

 Retribution emphasizes the individual‟s past behavior
       with no concern for future criminality and,
      it is contrary to the goal of crime reduction.
   In other words, the goal is to punish past crimes.
                   Physical Restraint

Incapacitation focuses on personal characteristics of the
offender – the type of person committing the crime is more
  important than the crime. The goal is to prevent future
                crimes not punish past ones.

             Selective Incapacitation

The policy of creating enhanced prison sentences for the
  relatively small group of dangerous chronic offenders.

       Focuses on the offender and future crime.
       Deterrence rests on the assumption
        of rational, calculating behavior.

General Deterrence seeks to prevent the general
 populace from committing future crimes. It is not
    content to punish the individual offender.

   Specific Deterrence seeks to prevent the
 individual offender from committing future crimes
        – not change them, just deter them.

            Focuses on the offender.

  Rehabilitation assumes that criminal
       behavior is a result of social or
psychological disorders and that treatment
  is the primary goal. Offenders are not
 necessarily punished but treated for their
    own good and the good of society.

        Focuses on the offender.
           Restorative Justice
                        Social Harmony

The potential for restoring social relations damaged by crime
  is to be found not in the state (legalistic view), but in social
             groups, i.e., families and communities.


  Restorative Justice addresses crime as a conflict
             the victim – offender – community.

     The primary goal is to repair and reconcile injuries;
                 punishment is secondary.

       Social integration of the offender is paramount.

What are some problems with each of the
      philosophies of punishment?

   Who has the initial responsibility for
      creating sentencing options?

  What are two sentencing options for

 Of the three branches of government,
what role does the judiciary and executive
        branch play in sentencing?
Judicial Sentencing Responsibility

 Only judges have the authority to choose
       among the sentencing options
        provided by the legislature.
                  Executive Sentencing
          Length of sentences are determined partly
             by officials of the executive branch:
         governors, parole boards, and departments of

           The three most common types of „early‟ release are:

        Parole is the conditional release of an inmate from incarceration, under
                supervision, after a portion of their time has been served.

       Good time incorporates days off inmates‟ minimum or maximum terms as
        a reward for good behavior or for participation in various vocational,
        educational, and treatment programs.

       Executive clemency or Pardons are authorized by the president of the U.S.
        and state governors. This includes reducing the sentence, making the
        prisoner eligible for parole, or, a full pardon.
     Prisons and Imprisonment

     What is a reason for the high rate of imprisonment
             (incarceration) in the Unites States?

How do our skyrocketing prison populations compare to crime
                rates during the last decade?

 Do you think the “get tough on crime” policy advocated by
          legislators is a means in which to increase
             the prison construction business?

               What is the approximate cost
            to “house” a prisoner for one year?
Punishment for a crime that allows the offender to
  remain in the community without incarceration
   (but under supervision) and subject to certain

   Conditions of probation are prescribed by the
      sentencing judge, i.e., maintaining a job,
  reporting in, and supporting a family. The judge
   can revoke probation and send the offender to
  prison if the conditions of probation are violated.

  Probation is the most common sanction used in
the United States (approximately 4 million adults).
        Intermediate Sanctions

   Alternative sentences that lie somewhere
    between prison and probation which can
        include community based penalties
                    such as:
fines, community service, restitution, intensive
     probation, electronic monitoring, house
     arrest, shock incarceration, boot camp,
                 and treatment.

Fines are one of the oldest and most widely
  used forms of punishment – do you think
   „day fines‟ or „structured fines‟ would be
 appropriate punishment for „jail‟ offenses?

            What is restitution?

  What is the difference between „direct‟
   restitution and „symbolic‟ restitution?
           Death Penalty
   Capital Punishment – Capital Offense
    (8th Amendment – „Cruel and Unusual Punishment‟)

           Furman v. Georgia (1972)
               (Invalidated Death Penalty)

            Gregg v. Georgia (1976)
      (Death Penalty is valid with Guided Discretion)

            Coker v. Georgia (1977)
     (Rape is not grave enough for the Death Penalty)

All jurisdictions but Arkansas allow automatic review
          after a sentence of death is imposed.
        Discussion Questions:
Which issue might offer the best argument for abolishing the
                        death penalty –
             morality, deterrence, or fairness?

What are the age limits in which the Supreme Court allows or
                 disallows the death penalty?

    What mental conditions disallow the death penalty?

   How are jurors affected during peremptory challenges
                  in death penalty cases?