The purpose the process and the resulting inconsistencies
1 / 24

Sentencing - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

The Purpose, The Process, and the Resulting Inconsistencies. Sentencing. The Purpose of Sentencing. punishment serves two purposes: inflicting suffering on evildoers the prevention of crime. Retribution. Oldest and most common justification. Relies on principle of just deserts.

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Sentencing' - wynne-keller

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript

The purpose of sentencing
The Purpose of Sentencing

  • punishment serves two purposes:

  • inflicting suffering on evildoers

  • the prevention of crime.


  • Oldest and most common justification.

  • Relies on principle of just deserts.

  • Not the same as revenge.

  • Revenge implies satisfying the victim.

  • Retribution is more concerned with the needs of society.


  • 1. Seeks to prevent future crimes.

  • 2. Takes two forms.

  • a. General deterrence uses the punishment of one person to dissuade others from committing the same crime.

  • b. Specific deterrence assumes that individuals, once punished will be less likely to re-offend.


  • 1. Incarcerating criminals guarantees that they will not offend while they are incarcerated.

  • 2. To a certain extent, the death penalty is a form of incapacitation.


  • 1. Has been seen as most “humane” form of punishment.

  • 2. The rehabilitation model suggests that criminals can be “treated” and possibly “cured.”

Legislative sentencing authority
Legislative Sentencing Authority

  • Indeterminate Sentencing

  • Determinate Sentencing

  • “Good Time” and Truth in Sentencing

Indeterminate sentencing
Indeterminate Sentencing

  • a. Set minimum and maximum amount of time that a person must spend in prison.

  • b. The parole board decides when the prison should be released.

Determinate sentencing
Determinate Sentencing

  • a. Fixed sentencing.

  • b. Offender serves exactly amount of time he/she is sentenced.

Good time and truth in sentencing
“Good Time” and Truth in Sentencing

  • a. All but four states offer prisoners the opportunity to reduce their sentences by behaving well.

  • b. Sentence reduction programs promote discipline and reduce overcrowding.

  • c. Truth-in-sentencing laws require that serious violators serve a majority of their sentences with no time off for good behavior.


  • Parole is an early release from custody while remaining under the legal custody and supervision of the state.

Individualized justice and judges
Individualized Justice and Judges

  • Forms of Punishment

    1. Capital Punishment

    Option in thirty-eight states and in federal courts.

    2. Imprisonment

    Judges and legislatures have to take prison

    overcrowding into consideration.

    3. Probation

    Offender permitted to live in the community, under


Judge s punishment
Judge’s Punishment

4. Fines

a. Can be used in conjunction with incarceration or probation.

  • Can be used in lieu of incarceration or probation for offenders not considered a threat to the community.

    5. Restitution and Community Service

    a. Reparations paid to the injured party.

    b. May also include community service or good works.

    6. Restorative Justice

    a. For less serious crimes.

    b. The heart of restorative justice is the apology.

    c. Focuses more on “healing” the harm.

Factors in sentencing
Factors in Sentencing

  • The Seriousness of the Crime

    a. The primary factor in the judge’s sentencing decision.

    b. Some judges consider the “conviction offense.”

    c. Other judges sometimes mandated by statute focus on the “real offense.”

Mitigating and aggravating circumstances
Mitigating and Aggravating Circumstances

  • Mitigating circumstances allow a lighter sentence.

  • Aggravating circumstances lead a judge to inflict a harsher penalty than otherwise might have been the case.

  • Judicial Philosophy

Inconsistencies in sentencing
Inconsistencies in Sentencing

Sentencing Disparity

  • Criminals receive similar sentences for

    different crimes of unequal seriousness.

  • Criminals receive different sentences for

    similar crimes.

Inconsistencies in sentencing1
Inconsistencies in Sentencing

  • Sentencing Discrimination

  • Sentencing disparities due to defendant’s:

    a. Gender

    b. Race

    c. Economic standing

Capital punishment
Capital Punishment

  • Methods of Execution

  • 1. Earliest forms of capital punishment included drawing, quartering and boiling the convict alive.

  • 2. In nineteenth century hanging became the accepted method.

  • 3. 1890s electrocution introduced as a more “humane” method.

  • 4. In 1924, Nevada introduced lethal gas as a more “humane” method.

  • 5. In 1982, Texas became the first state to use lethal injection.

Electric chair
Electric Chair

  • prisoner is strapped into the chair.

  • moist sponge is placed on the head to aid conductivity

  • initial voltage of around 2,000 volts

  • 15 seconds to attempt both to induce unconsciousness and to stop the heart

Lethal injection
Lethal Injection

  • Sodium thiopental: to render the offender unconscious.

  • Pancuronium/Tubocurarine: to stop all muscle movement except the heart. This causes muscle paralysis, collapse of the diaphragm, and would eventually cause death by asphyxiation.

  • Potassium chloride: to stop the heart from beating, and thus cause death: see cardiac arrest.

Gas chamber
Gas Chamber

  • Method, when using cyanide

  • First, the execution technician will place a quantity of potassium cyanide (KCN) pellets into a compartment directly below the chair in the chamber.

  • The condemned person is then brought into the chamber and strapped into the chair

  • the airtight chamber is sealed. At this point

  • the execution technician will pour a quantity of concentrated sulfuric acid

  • The curtain is then opened, allowing the witnesses to observe the inside of the chamber.

  • Throw a switch/lever to cause the cyanide pellets to drop into the sulfuric acid, initiating a chemical reaction that generates hydrogen cyanide (HCN) gas:

Debating the sentence of death
Debating the Sentence of Death


  • Capital punishment is argued as the ultimate form of incapacitation.

  • many social scientists claim there is little in the way of statistical support for the deterrence argument.

Death penalty
Death Penalty

  • Fallibility

  • Incapacitation argument rests on:

  • a. Assumption that every convicted murderer is likely to recidivate.

  • b. Assumption that the criminal justice system is infallible.


  • Comparing number of known murders the chances of a murderer being executed are approximately 1,000 to 1.

  • Two-thirds of the 4,578 death sentences issued between 1973 and 1995 have been reversed.

  • Six states, Florida, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia account for nearly two-thirds of all executions.