Presentation on theme: "Punishment and Sentencing"— Presentation transcript:
1 Punishment and Sentencing Chapter 13Punishment and Sentencing
2 Past PunishmentsPhysical tortureBrandingWhippingDeath
3 Historical Precedents Banishment and exile in Greek and Roman societiesBlood feuds settled offenses in the Middle AgesForfeiture of land and property was common during the feudal periodCorporal punishment, torture and death penalty used to control the criminal poor
5 Indeterminate Sentence 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-improvementThis is still the dominant form of sentencing used in the United States
6 Indeterminate Sentence (cont.) Sentence has a minimum & maximumVariationsJudge sets minimum & maximumLegislature sets minimum, judge sets maximumInmate can earn time off for good behaviorEarly release but continued supervision
7 Determinate Sentencing In its original form:Legislature would set maximum sentence for an offense, e.g., robbery might be 20 yearsJudge could then select any term within the maximum based upon his/her evaluation of the caseWhen the duration of the sentence was complete, the prisoner was releasedMajor drawback was sentencing disparity
8 Structured Sentencing A new form of determinate sentencingBased on the just desserts philosophy and justice modelSentence based on the seriousness of the offenseGuiding philosophy is that sentences should be fair and equal
9 Structured Sentencing (cont.) Legislature sets a presumed sentenceJudge must justify deviations from the legislature’s presumptionJudge may consider:Aggravating circumstancesMitigating circumstancesDiscretionary parole abolished
10 Structured Sentencing Guidelines 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.
11 Do Sentencing Guidelines Work? Some studies show that the effects of racial and other non-legal factors have been reducedSome 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)
12 Mandatory Minimum Sentences Bars judicial discretionMay exclude probatioMay exclude parolePlea bargaining, dismissals, and “under charging” used to getaround itMay cause more delays in systemMay increase prison population even more
13 Sentencing FactorsSeverity of the offenseOffender’s prior criminal recordWhether violence was usedWhether weapons were usedWhether the crime was committed for money
14 Facts about Capital Punishment More than 14,500 executions since 1608Most executions for murder & rapeSupreme Court limits use to 1st degree murder with aggravating circumstancesFederal and state statutes list other crime
15 Who’s on Death Row?Approximately 3,500 people98% maleAverage age is 34Completed 11th gradeNot married
16 Arguments for the Death Penalty IncapacitationDeterrenceMoral correctnessProportionalityPublic opinionUnlikely chance of error
17 Arguments Against the Death Penalty Unfair use of judicial & prosecutorial discretionSerious criminals escape punishmentMisplaced vengeanceDoes not deterPossibility of error
18 Arguments Against the Death Penalty (cont.) Always a hope of rehabilitationRacially biasedBrutalExpensive and unnecessary
19 Legal Issues in the Death Penalty 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?
20 Does the Death Penalty Deter Murder? 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 studiesTime-series analysisContiguous-state analysisUsing these three methods over a 60-year period, most researchers have failed to show any deterrent effect of capital punishment.