Chapter 19 Sentencing and Punishment
Sentencing • The imposition of a criminal sanction by a judicial authority. Modern sentencing practices are influenced by the following five goals: • Retribution • Incapacitation • Deterrence • Rehabilitation • Restoration
Sentencing • Retribution – something demanded as payment. • Proportionality – degree to which a particular punishment matches the seriousness of crime or matches the penalty other offenders have received for the same crime. • Capital Crimes – crime which death is permissible punishment. • Corporal Punishment – punishment that inflicts pain or injury to a person’s body. • General Deterrence – theory that punishment serves to deter others from committing crimes. • Penitentiary – prison.
Sentencing • Rehabilitation – restoring someone to their former status. • Incarceration – imprisonment. • Incapacitation – punishment making it impossible for an offender to re-offend.
Contemporary Forms of Criminal Punishment There are a variety of criminal punishment: • Monetary Fines • For first time offenders • Offenders are required to pay back as punishment • Forfeiture – sacrifice of ownership or some right as a penalty • Incarceration • Confinement is generally the only effective way to deal with violent offenders. • Prison is an effective incapacitator, but rarely an effective rehabilitator. • Boot Camp – program designed to employ a system of discipline like the military. Inmates are generally young, nonviolent offenders who have committed theft, burglary, forgery, and other nonviolent offenses. • Probation • Conditional release of a convicted criminal in lieu of incarceration.
Contemporary Forms of Criminal Punishment • Community service • Offenders are required to perform a specified number of hours of service to the community, doing specified tasks. • Is required as one of several conditions of probation. • Death penalty • 38 states currently authorize capital punishment for first-degree murder or other types of aggravated homicide.
The Sentencing Stage of the Criminal Process • Presentence Investigation – investigation held before sentencing a convicted criminal to aid the court in determining the appropriate punishment. • Presentence Report – report containing the results of a presentence investigation. • Sentencing Hearing – hearing held by a trial court before the sentence is pronounced.
The Sentencing Stage of the Criminal Process • Suspended Sentence – trial court’s decision to place a defendant on probation or under community control instead of imposing a sentence. • Concurrent Sentencing – practice in which a trial court imposes separate sentences to be served at the same time. • Consecutive Sentencing – practice in which a trial court imposes a sentence or sentences to be served following completion of a prior sentence or sentences. • Victim Impact Evidence – evidence relating to the physical, economic, and psychological impact that a crime has on the victim. • Victim Impact Statement – statement read into the record during the sentencing phase of a criminal trial to inform the court about the impact of the crime on the victim.
Approaches to Incarceration • Indeterminate Sentencing – criminals are sentenced to prison for indeterminate periods until corrections officials determine that rehabilitation has been accomplished. • Definite Sentencing – legislatively determined sentencing with no discretion given to judges or corrections officials to individualize punishment. • Determinate Sentencing – process of sentencing whereby the judge sets a fixed term of years within statutory parameters and the offender must serve that term without possibility of early release. • Indefinite Sentencing – judge imposes a term of incarceration within statutory parameters, and corrections officials determine actual time served through parole or other means. • Mandatory Minimum Sentence – sentence in which the minimum duration of incarceration is specified by law.
Approaches to Incarceration • Mandatory Sentencing – trial courts are constrained by law to impose prison terms of certain minimum duration. • Habitual Offenders – one who repeatedly commits crimes. • Three Strikes and You’re Out – statute that provides for mandatory life imprisonment for a convicted felon who has been previously convicted of two or more serious felonies.
The Rights of Prisoners • Good-Time Credit – credit toward early release from prison based on good behavior during confinement. • Parole Revocation Hearings – administrative hearing held for the purpose of determining whether an offender’s parole should be revoked.
The Rights of Crime Victims • Uniform Victims of Crime Act – law proposed by the Uniform Law Commission designed to provide uniform rights and procedures concerning crime victims.