top-rated free essay

Law Is Law

By zackdelarocha Jan 19, 2013 361 Words

In law, a sentence forms the final explicit act of a judge-ruled process, and also the symbolic principal act connected to his function. The sentence can generally involve a decree of imprisonment, a fine and/or other punishments against a defendant convicted of a crime. Those imprisoned for multiple crimes, will serve a consecutive sentence (in which the period of imprisonment equals the sum of all the sentences), a concurrent sentence (in which the period of imprisonment equals the length of the longest sentence), or somewhere in between, sometimes subject to a cap. If a sentence gets reduced to a less harsh punishment, then the sentence is said to have been "mitigated" or "commuted". Rarely (depending on circumstances) murder charges are "mitigated" and reduced to manslaughter charges. However, in certain legal systems, a defendant may be punished beyond the terms of the sentence, e.g. social stigma, loss of governmental benefits, or, collectively, the collateral consequences of criminal charges. Statutes often specify the range of penalties that can be imposed for various offenses, and sentencing guidelines sometimes regulate what punishment within those ranges can be imposed given a certain set of offense and offender characteristics. However, in some jurisdictions, prosecutors have great influence over the punishments actually handed down, by virtue of their discretion to decide what offenses to charge the offender with and what facts they will seek to prove or to ask the defendant to stipulate to in a plea agreement. It has been argued that legislators have an incentive to enact tougher sentences than even they would like to see applied to the typical defendant, since they recognize that the blame for an inadequate sentencing range to handle a particular egregious crime would fall upon legislators, but the blame for excessive punishments would fall upon prosecutors.[1] Sentencing law sometimes includes "cliffs" that result in much stiffer penalties when certain facts apply. For instance, an armed career criminal or habitual offender law may subject a defendant to a significant increase in his sentence if he commits a third offense of a certain kind. This makes it difficult for fine gradations in punishments to be achieved.

Cite This Document

Related Documents

  • law independence of the judiciary

    ...Independence Independence from whom and what? It is vitally important in a democracy that individual judges and the judiciary as a whole are impartial and independent of all external pressures and of each other so that those who appear before them and the wider public can have confidence that their cases will be decided fairly and in accordan...

    Read More
  • Sociology and Law

    ...Relevance of Sociology for the study of Law. If societies are based upon agreed upon laws, then they are very much interrelated subjects. They are symbiotic, interwoven, interconnected. When someone commits a crime against another person or their property, they will have to face the consequences in a court of law. Or reduce it to a smaller gro...

    Read More
  • Obeying The Law

    ...order was maintained through the introduction of laws. Without law, the integrity and stability of society would diminish completely. As a strong advocate of determinism, Thomas Hobbes believes that a strict government is the only way to social stability. Hobbes believed that a state of nature - one without a form of government - would essentia...

    Read More
  • Criminal Law Foundations Essay

    ... Criminal Law Foundations Evaluation University of Phoenix CJA 484 September 7, 2014 Shane Evans Criminal Law Foundations Evaluation The United States Constitution has been amended since its origination. These amendments are meant to help our Nation adjust to the ever changing times. Our Bill of Rights is conten...

    Read More
  • Criminal Law Court Observation

    ...respective courts mentioned above, this observation at the New South Wales Local Court and Supreme Court during three days aimed at comparing one proceeding with the other. 2. Local Court: Efficiency In the courtroom for sentencing at the Downing Centre Local Court, It was a wide range of cases dealt with by the Magistrate that were the mo...

    Read More
  • Law Justice Society

    ...conduct toward conformity, whether or not the persons being influenced are aware of the process. The main function of the law is to keep social control and maintain peaceful and predictable coexistence. * The use of law is a measure of the failure and success rate of other forms of social control. * The four-fold typology of social contr...

    Read More
  • The Fallacy of Three Strikes Laws

    ...Eli Tooloee English 101 Olympic College Poulsbo Fall Quarter 2011 December 6th, 2011 3 Strikes Laws: Cruel and Unusual Punishment Washington State was the first in the nation to enact a “3 Strikes Law”, which provides for harsher sentencing for repeat offenders. While this sounds logical, the system used to determine these harsher se...

    Read More
  • Effectiveness of the Law in Protecting the Community from Violence.

    ...Evaluate the effectiveness of the law in protecting the community from violence. The term “effective” means to produce the intended or expected result. In other words if a law is effective then it achieves its stated aim and objectives. The main function of law is to enable individuals to live peacefully together. Laws allow individuals to...

    Read More

Discover the Best Free Essays on StudyMode

Conquer writer's block once and for all.

High Quality Essays

Our library contains thousands of carefully selected free research papers and essays.

Popular Topics

No matter the topic you're researching, chances are we have it covered.