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1 Sentencing the Guilty Chapter 15. 2 Eighth Amendment Excessive bail shall not be required, not excessive fines imposed, not cruel and unusual punishments.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Sentencing the Guilty Chapter 15. 2 Eighth Amendment Excessive bail shall not be required, not excessive fines imposed, not cruel and unusual punishments."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Sentencing the Guilty Chapter 15

2 2 Eighth Amendment Excessive bail shall not be required, not excessive fines imposed, not cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

3 3 Reasons for Sentencing Retribution: “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Incapacitation: “lock them up and throw away the key.” Deterrence: “let this sentence be a warning to others.” Rehabilitation.

4 4 Retribution “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Focus on past behavior. Severity of the punishment is directly tied to the seriousness of the crime. Desire for revenge. Just deserts: deserved punishment.

5 5 Incapacitation “Lock them up and throw away the key.” Crime can be prevented if criminals are physically restrained. Future-oriented: goal is to prevent future crimes, not punish past ones. Focus is on the personal characteristics of the offender.

6 6 Deterrence “Let this sentence be a warning to others.” Purpose of punishment is the prevention of future crimes. Punishment should fit the criminal. Jeremy Bentham. General deterrence vs. special deterrence.

7 7 Rehabilitation Criminal behavior is the result of social or psychological disorders, and treatment of such disorders should be the primary goal of corrections. Offenders should be treated, not punished. Sentences should fit the offender, not the offense.

8 8 Legislative Sentencing Responsibility Legislators provide wide parameters for possible sentences. Indeterminate sentencing: –Has both a minimum and a maximum term of imprisonment. –Actual term determined by parole board. Determinate Sentencing: –Specific number of years that must be served. –Also called “fixed sentencing.”

9 9 Judicial Sentencing Responsibility Judges had wide discretion in deciding on a specific sentence until the mid-1970’s when the sentencing discretion of judges was greatly curtailed. Judges may choose among sentencing options provided by legislature. Judicial discretion reflects the “rehabilitative model.”

10 10 Executive Sentencing Responsibility Governors, parole boards, and departments of corrections make decisions on when to release an inmate. Parole: the conditional release of an inmate from incarceration under supervision, after a portion of the sentence has been served. Good time: prisoners are awarded days off their terms as a reward for good behavior or participation in various programs. Pardon: an act of executive clemency that has the effect of releasing an inmate.

11 11 Sentencing Options Prison Parole Probation Intermediate sanctions Fines Restitution Capital Punishment

12 12 Imprisonment Placing a person in a prison, jail, or similar correctional facility for committing a crime. The U.S. imprisons a larger share of its population than any other nation. Compared to Europe, the prison sentences are quite long in the U.S.

13 13 Cost of Imprisonment Construction costs for a single cell for a prisoner range from $75,000 to $100,000. Annual costs to house a prisoner range from $20,000 to $30,000.

14 14 Imprisonment Jurisprudence Cooper v. Pate: Prisoners can sue prison officials in federal court. Estelle v. Gamble: Deliberate indifference to serious medical needs of prisoners constitutes the unnecessary and wanton infliction of pain, and thus violates the Eighth Amendment. Rhodes v. Chapman: Double-celling and crowding do not necessarily constitute cruel and unusual punishment.

15 15 Probation Punishment that allows the offender to remain in the community without incarceration but subject to certain conditions. Principle alternative to imprisonment. Designed as a means of maintaining control over offenders while permitting them to live in the community. Approximately 4 million adults are on probation in the U.S.

16 16 Factors to Consider in Granting Probation The defendant is not likely to commit another offense. The public does not require that the defendant receive the penalty provided for the offense. The rehabilitation of the defendant does not require that he or she receive the penalty provided for the offense.

17 17 Intermediate Sanctions Diversionary Programs –Counseling Programs –Therapy –Medication and counseling Fines Restitution –Direct Restitution –Symbolic Restitution

18 18 Death Penalty Capital Offenses –Used to include variety of crimes, including rape –Coker v. Georgia (1977): rape is not a grave enough offence to justify the imposition of the death penalty. –Now, only murder and treason are generally death penalty cases All Western democracies, except the U.S. have abolished the death penalty as a punishment.

19 19 Persons Executed in the U.S., Insert Figure 15.3 on page 353 here.

20 20 Furman v. Georgia (1972): Invalidated all 37 state death penalty statutes based on cruel and unusual punishment of the 8 th Amendment. Did not hold that the death penalty was unconstitutional, but, rather, the methods used were unconstitutional. Caused states to revise their death penalty legislation.

21 21 Gregg v. Georgia (1976) Held that the death penalty did not constitute cruel and unusual punishment under all circumstances. For a death penalty law to be constitutional it must provide for a bifurcated process. 1.Guilt phase 2.Penalty phase

22 22 Other Key Death Penalty Jurisprudence Thompson v. Oklahoma: Youths who are 15 years or younger at the time of the crime may not be executed. Stanford v. Kentucky: Youths who are 17 years old at the time of the crime may be executed. Penry v. Lynaugh: It is constitutional to execute mentally retarded persons. Atkins v. Virginia: Convicted defendants with an IQ of 70 or less may not be executed. –Overturned Penry v. Lynaugh.

23 23 The Jury and the Death Penalty Witherspoon v. Illinois: Prospective jurors cannot be excluded because they oppose the death penalty. Lockhart v. McCree: Potential jurors may be excluded if they oppose the death penalty. –Overturned Witherspoon v. Illinois. Simmons v. South Carolina: Defense may tell jurors that the only alternative to a death sentence is life without parole. Harris v. Alabama: States may give judges the power to sentence a capital defendant to death even if the jury votes not to impose the death penalty.

24 24 Jurisdictions Without a Death Penalty Alaska District of Columbia Hawaii Iowa Maine Massachusetts Michigan Minnesota North Dakota Rhode Island Vermont West Virginia Wisconsin

25 25 Prisoners Under Sentence of Death by Region Insert Figure 15.4, page 358 here.

26 26


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