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AJ 50 – Introduction to Administration of Justice

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1 AJ 50 – Introduction to Administration of Justice
Chapter 9 - Sentencing

2 Why Do We Punish Criminals?
When does a person learn that breaking the rules = some type of punishment? What is the Penal Code? A book of punishments! If you do this crime, here’s what will happen… “Just Deserts” = A person gets what he/she deserves Sentencing = imposing a criminal sanction by the courts

3 Theories of Punishment
Retribution Taking revenge against a wrongdoer Follows “Just Deserts” philosophy Incapacitation Preventing criminals from doing more crimes while incarcerated Deterrence Inhibiting criminal behavior through fear of punishment

4 Types of Deterrence Specific Deterrence General Deterrence
Focus on the criminal him/herself Punishment will prevent future criminal acts by this individual wrongdoer General Deterrence Focus on others in society who may be influenced not to commit crime due to punishment of another individual Learn from another’s mistake

5 Theories of Punishment (continued)
Rehabilitation Attempt to “cure” or reform the criminal offender Counseling, education, vocational training, etc. Restoration Restorative Justice Focus on making the victim “whole” again Includes restitution and increases participation of victim throughout process

6 Sentencing Concepts Proportionality Equity Social Debt
Severity of sanctions should bear a direct relationship to seriousness of crime Equity Similar crimes should be punished equitably, regardless of defendant’s social status Social Debt Looking at a defendant’s criminal history to determine overall “debt to society”

7 Sentencing Considerations
Aggravating Circumstances Negative actions or behaviors that make the crime worse than normal May lead to harsher sentence Mitigating Circumstances Positive actions or behaviors that tend to lessen the “criminality” of a defendant May lead to lighter sentence Truth in Sentencing Federal guideline calling for close correspondence between sentence imposed and time actually served

8 Indeterminate Sentencing
General, unspecified term of sentencing based upon discretion of judge Actual time served depends on inmate’s behavior/progress while incarcerated Gain Time Time deducted for participation in special programs Good Time Time deducted for good behavior

9 Determinate Sentencing
Fixed term, determined by criminal act Allows some flexibility for early-release Presumptive Sentencing Appropriate sentence for criminal offender presumed to fall within legislative guidelines

10 Mandatory Sentencing Structured sentencing mandates for specific offenses or habitual offenders California Three-Strikes Law (1994) Targets “career criminals” Two or more previous convictions for a violent or serious felonies… 3x the normal sentence, or 25 years-to-life in prison

11 Alternative Sentencing
Diversion Referral to treatment/care facility instead of criminal proceedings Other Alternatives Community Service Drug/Alcohol, Family Counseling Anger-Management Pre-Sentence Investigations Offender’s background Conducted by Probation or Parole Public-safety considerations?

12 Victims’ Rights Movement
All 50 states allow for some type of monetary payments to crime victims Medical expenses, lost wages, etc. Crime Victims’ Rights Act (1994) Protection from accused Notification of proceedings, release, etc. Inclusion in proceedings Restitution

13 The Ultimate Punishment
Capital Offense Criminal offense punishable by death Capital Punishment = Death Penalty Federal government and 37 states Writ of Habeas Corpus Directs detaining authority to bring detainee before a judge to determine lawfulness of imprisonment Historically used to delay capital punishments US Executions = 3,859 = 1,132 CA Executions 1930 – 1967 = 292 1977 – 2008 = 13

14 Pros and Cons Opposition to Capital Punishment
Innocence Deterrence Discrimination Expense Justifications for Capital Punishment Revenge Just Deserts Protection and Public Safety What do you think???

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