List and contrast the four basic philosophical reasons for sentencing criminals.
Retribution – the philosophy that those who commit criminal acts should be punished based on the severity of the crime Incapacitation – a strategy for preventing crime be detaining wrongdoers in prison Deterrence – preventing crime through the threat of punishment Rehabilitation – providing wrongdoers the resources they need to eliminate criminality from their behavioral pattern
Contrast indeterminate with determinate sentencing.
Indeterminate Determinate Sentencing – a practice Sentencing – a practice in which the sentence in which the period of of a convicted person incarceration for identifies a minimum specific crimes is fixed and maximum time to by a sentencing be served, rather than authority and cannot be a specific time to be reduced by judges or served. other corrections officials.
Explain why there is a difference between a sentence imposed by a judge and the actual sentence served by the prisoner.
“Good time” - reduction in time served by prisoners based on good behavior, conformity to rules, and other positive actions. Truth-in-sentencing law – a legislative attempt to ensure that convicts will serve approximately the terms to which they were initially sentenced. Judicial Sentencing Authority Administrative Sentencing Authority
List the six forms of punishment.
Forms of Punishment: Capital punishment Imprisonment Probation Fines Restitution and community service Restorative justice
State who has input into the sentencing decision and list the factors that determine a sentence.
The Sentencing Process: The presentence investigative report. Recommendations from the prosecutor and defense attorney. The role of the jury in capital cases.
Factors of sentencing: Seriousness of the crime Aggravating and mitigating circumstances Judicial philosophy
Explain some of the reasons why sentencing reform has occurred.
Sentencing Disparity: SentencingThose who commit Discrimination:similar crimes should When the sentence isreceive similar influence by race,punishments. gender, economic status, or some other factor not related to the crime.
Three ways disparity occurs: Offenders receive similar sentences for different crimes of unequal seriousness Offenders receive different sentences for unequal crimes Mitigating or aggravating circumstances have a disproportionate effect on sentencing
Sentencing Discrimination: The “Punishment Penalty” ◦ Rates of imprisonment rise significantly for those who are young, minority, and unemployed. Women and Sentencing ◦ Women convicted of crimes are less likely to go to prison than their male counterparts.
Sentencing Guidelines ◦ State Sentencing Guidelines ◦ Federal Sentencing Guidelines ◦ Judicial Departures Mandatory Sentencing Guidelines ◦ Habitual Offender Laws ◦ “Three Strikes” in Court
Methods of Execution The Death Penalty and the Supreme Court ◦ Weems v. United States (1910) ◦ Furman v. Georgia (1972) Reforming the Death Penalty
Identify the two stages that make up the bifurcated process of death penalty sentencing.
The Bifurcated Process: Furman v. Georgia (1972) Court Approval The Jury’s Role Mitigating Circumstances ◦ Insanity ◦ Mentally Handicapped ◦ Age
Describe the main issues of the death penalty debate.
Questions: ◦ Do you believe lethal injection should be considered cruel and unusual punishment? ◦ Do you believe that methods that were one day considered acceptable (such as the firing squad) are cruel and unusual?
Deterrence – does it deter crime? Fallibility – does the system make mistakes? Arbitrariness – is it arbitrary?
The Immediate Future of the Death Penalty ◦ Reasons for the Decline in Executions ◦ Continued Support for the Death Penalty
Questions: ◦ Should an individual be executed if there is DNA evidence that could be tested, but has not been tested? ◦ Should an individual be eligible for capital punishment if there is the absence of DNA evidence?