Chapter 8 SentencingLearning ObjectivesAfter completion of this chapter, students should be able to:1. Describe the various purposes of criminal sanctions.2. Understand the insanity defense.3. Describe the purpose of a presentence investigation report.4. Detail differences between determinate and indeterminate sentencing models.5. Explain how civil rights challenges have affected the death penalty.Chapter OutlineI. Purpose of Criminal Sanctions Deterrence Incapacitation Retribution Rehabilitation Restorative JusticeII. The Special Case of Mentally Ill Offenders Defining Insanity The Insanity Defense Reform Act of 1984 State Courts and the Insanity Plea Public Fear of the Insanity Plea
III. Fair SentenceIV. Presentence Investigation Report The Offender’s Background and Attitude Sentencing Hearing and Victim Impact StatementsV. Sentencing Models Sentencing Models Determinate Versus Indeterminate Sentencing Mandatory Sentencing and Habitual Offender Laws Sentencing Guidelines Presumptive Sentencing Truth in SentencingVI. Sentencing and the Death Penalty The Death Penalty and Abolitionists The Death Penalty and Civil Rights Challenges to the Death Penalty Reconsideration of the Death PenaltyKey TermsAbolitionists (p. 144) people opposed to the death penaltyBanishment (p. 132) the removal of an offender from the communityBifurcated trial (p. 146) a two-part trial structure in which the jury first determines guilt orinnocence and then considers new evidence relating to the appropriate punishmentCapital punishment (p. 143) the sentence of deathCivil commitment process (p. 135) a determination of whether the defendant should be releasedor confined to an institution for persons with mental illness
Corporal punishment (p. 130) the administration of bodily pain as punishment for a crimeDeterminate sentencing (p. 140) a model of sentencing in which the offender is sentenced to afixed term of incarcerationDeterrence (p. 130) the philosophy and practices that emphasize making criminal behavior lessappealingGeneral deterrence (p. 132) the concept based on the logic that people who witness the painsuffered by those who commit crimes will desire to avoid that pain and will refrain from criminalactivityGuilty but mentally ill (p. 135) a new type of verdict in which the jury finds a defendantmentally ill but sufficiently aware to be morally responsible for his or her criminal actsHabitual offender laws (p. 140) tough sentencing laws to punish repeat offenders more harshlyIncapacitation (p. 132) deterrence based on the premise that the only way to prevent criminalsfrom reoffending is to remove them from societyIndeterminate sentence (p. 139) a sentence in which the defendant is sentenced to a prison termwith a minimum and a maximum number of years to serveMandatory sentencing (p. 140) the strict application of full sentences in the determinatesentencing modelNot guilty by reason of insanity (p. 134) a verdict by which the jury finds that a defendantcommitted the crime but was insanePresentence investigator (p. 138) a person who works for the court and has the responsibility ofinvestigating the background of the convicted offender and the circumstances surrounding theoffensePresumptive sentencing (p. 141) a structured sentencing model that attempts to balancesentencing guidelines with mandatory sentencing and at the same time provide discretion to thejudgeRehabilitation (p. 133) deterrence based on the premise that criminals can be “cured” of theirproblems and criminality and can be returned to societyRestorative justice (p. 133) a model of deterrence that uses restitution programs, communitywork programs, victim offender mediation, and other strategies to not only rehabilitate theoffender but also to address the damage done to the community and the victim
Retribution (p. 133) deterrence based on the premise that criminals should be punished becausethey deserve itSentencing guidelines (p. 141) a sentencing model in which crimes are classified according totheir seriousness and a range of time to be served is mandatory for crimes within each categorySpecific deterrence (p. 131) a concept based on the premise that a person is best deterred fromcommitting future crimes by the specific nature of the punishmentThree-strikes law (p. 140) the application of mandatory sentencing to give repeat offenderslonger prison termsTransportation (p. 132) the eighteenth-century practice by Great Britain of sending offenders tothe American colonies and later, to AustraliaTruth in sentencing (p. 143) in the application of presumptive sentencing in states that cannoteliminate parole, the legal requirement that courts disclose the actual prison time that theoffender is likely to serveVictim impact statements (p. 138) testimony by victims at a convicted offender’s sentencinghearingChapter SummaryThis chapter discusses the different philosophies that justify criminal sanctions. Those fiveinclude: deterrence, incapacitation, retribution, rehabilitation, and restorative justice. The specialcase of a mentally ill offender is considered under the concept of the insanity defense. There are two major sentencing models that can guide a judge’s decisions. These two modelsare indeterminate sentencing and structured sentencing. Indeterminate sentencing is based onearly release through the parole system. Whereas structured sentencing includes determinateguidelines, sentencing guidelines, and presumptive sentencing. Mandatory sentencing, threestrikes laws, and truth-in-sentencing laws are examples of structured sentencing. Academicresearch indicates that the application of criminal sanctions often discriminates against African-Americans and Hispanic males. While current day society seems to support the use of the death penalty, there is strongopposition and much controversy surrounding its application. Many states are revisiting thedecision to use of the death penalty due to the number of wrongful convictions that have beendocumented in recent years. DNA evidence has played a major role in freeing those wrongfullyconvicted. Data on the effectiveness of sentencing in reducing crime rates indicate that morestudies needed.Media to Explore
See www.curenational.org, the Web site of Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants(CURE). CURE is a nonprofit national organization dedicated to reducing crime throughrehabilitation programs and reforms of the criminal justice system.Go to www.derechos.org to access Derechos Human Rights, an Internet-based human rightsorganization that offers links to a number of Web sites with information about the death penalty.Go to www.innocenceproject.org to visit the Web site of The Innocence Project. The Innocenceproject is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfullyconvicted people through DNA testing and reforming the criminal justice system to preventfuture injustice.To visit Web sites for and against the death penalty, see www.deathpenalty.org to view theWeb site of an organization that argues against the death penalty, andwww.prodeathpenalty.com to view the Web site of an organization that argues for the deathpenalty.For information about the history of the death penalty and state-by-state information onexecutions, see the Web site of the Death Penalty Information Center atwww.deathpenaltyinfo.org.