Presentation on theme: "Punishment and Sentencing Chapter 13. Physical torture Branding Whipping Death Past Punishments."— Presentation transcript:
Punishment and Sentencing Chapter 13
Physical torture Branding Whipping Death Past Punishments
Banishment and exile in Greek and Roman societies Blood feuds settled offenses in the Middle Ages Forfeiture of land and property was common during the feudal period Corporal punishment, torture and death penalty used to control the criminal poor Historical Precedents
Based on a treatment philosophy which therefore needs to be “fitted to the offender” Recognition of the offender’s eventual return to society; focus needs to be on self-improvement This is still the dominant form of sentencing used in the United States Indeterminate Sentence
Sentence has a minimum & maximum Variations Judge sets minimum & maximum Legislature sets minimum, judge sets maximum Inmate can earn time off for good behavior Early release but continued supervision Indeterminate Sentence (cont.)
In its original form: Legislature would set maximum sentence for an offense, e.g., robbery might be 20 years Judge could then select any term within the maximum based upon his/her evaluation of the case When the duration of the sentence was complete, the prisoner was released Major drawback was sentencing disparity Determinate Sentencing
A new form of determinate sentencing Based on the just desserts philosophy and justice model Sentence based on the seriousness of the offense Guiding philosophy is that sentences should be fair and equal Structured Sentencing
Legislature sets a presumed sentence Judge must justify deviations from the legislature’s presumption Judge may consider: Aggravating circumstances Mitigating circumstances Discretionary parole abolished Structured Sentencing (cont.)
Crimes are placed in a severity category. Criminals are placed in a category based on their criminal history. Using (a) severity and (b) criminal history, legislature mandates sentences which judges then follow. Systems differ and some allow judicial modification based upon specified criteria. Structured Sentencing Guidelines
Some studies show that the effects of racial and other non-legal factors have been reduced Some studies show that racial and other non-legal factors have not been reduced effectively (e.g., minorities are more likely to have juvenile records which may be an aggravating factor) Do Sentencing Guidelines Work?
Bars judicial discretion May exclude probatio May exclude parole Plea bargaining, dismissals, and “under charging” used to get around it May cause more delays in system May increase prison population even more Mandatory Minimum Sentences
Severity of the offense Offender’s prior criminal record Whether violence was used Whether weapons were used Whether the crime was committed for money Sentencing Factors
More than 14,500 executions since 1608 Most executions for murder & rape Supreme Court limits use to 1st degree murder with aggravating circumstances Federal and state statutes list other crime Facts about Capital Punishment
Approximately 3,500 people 98% male Average age is 34 Completed 11th grade Not married Who’s on Death Row?
Incapacitation Deterrence Moral correctness Proportionality Public opinion Unlikely chance of error Arguments for the Death Penalty
Unfair use of judicial & prosecutorial discretion Serious criminals escape punishment Misplaced vengeance Does not deter Possibility of error Arguments Against the Death Penalty
Always a hope of rehabilitation Racially biased Brutal Expensive and unnecessary Arguments Against the Death Penalty (cont.)
Is the death penalty itself cruel and unusual, or is its application? Can age and mental capacity be used to militate against the death penalty? Does the use of “death qualified juries” bias the process against the defendant? Who is better qualified to decide the death penalty – judge or jury? Legal Issues in the Death Penalty
Considerable empirical research has been carried out on the effectiveness of capital punishment as a deterrent, especially when compared to life imprisonment. These research methods have traditionally been used: Immediate-impact studies Time-series analysis Contiguous-state analysis Using these three methods over a 60-year period, most researchers have failed to show any deterrent effect of capital punishment. Does the Death Penalty Deter Murder?