Sentencing Paper

Topics: Crime, Prison, Death Penalty Pages: 6 (2161 words) Published: May 23, 2012
Sentencing Paper
David Sanders, Delisa Hooks, Deborah Chapman, Henry Woeltjen, Angela Westbrook CJA/354
May 21st, 2012
Steven Duskie

In our society sentencing plays a big part in our criminal justice system. Not only does it plays a big part but it helps to deter and reduce crime to help keep our street safe from those that want to cause us harm. In this paper we will begin to analyze the various forms of sentencing that are used along with their rational. The impact of tough sentencing giving handed out to criminals. The eighth amendment and its relationship to capital punishment and how they come together when it has to do with sentencing. In to wrap things up if the death penalty should be abolished for good. All in which would be covered and explained to give a better understand of sentencing.

There are various forms of sentencing that are used in the criminal justice system and each has its’ own rationale. These include but are not limited to the death penalty, incarceration, suspended sentence, probation, and restitution. The death penalty must be requested by the prosecutor and in some rare cases the defense. The death penalty can also be recommended by a jury, however only specific crimes are eligible for the death penalty. Most states require a certain number of witnesses in order to qualify the defendant for the death penalty. These crimes vary from state to state and include aggravated rape of a victim under 14 (including repeat offenses), espionage, piracy, ransom kidnapping, treason, and most commonly aggravated first degree murder. Incarceration is another popular form of sentencing. Although jail and prison are often used interchangeably, they differ. A prison sentence is typically longer and for those who commit felonies. A jail sentence is shorter and for those who commit misdemeanors, who are awaiting trial, or waiting to be transferred to a state facility. The ideology behind prisons is easy to recognize. We follow prisons in every state and find the same general procedures. These procedures do not seem to be helping the prisoners adapt to life outside. Therefore, it would be easy for somebody to assume the goal of prisons and jail was to separate rather than rehabilitate.

A suspended sentence occurs when the judge allows a convicted person to serve probation prior to carrying out the sentence. If a person successfully completes their probation or rehabilitation as ordered, the sentence is thrown out. This however still remains on the individual’s criminal record and background. Since a person’s criminal history is affected this can still be a harsh punishment. A suspended sentence is used to scare the person into following the guidelines set forth by probation, and move forward to more positive behavior. Probation is a general term. This term covers periods of time that the court temporarily restricts a person’s rights. These restrictions can vary in terms of length. Types of probation also vary and may require an electronic monitoring device, random drug tests, and checking in with probation officers. Lastly, restitution occurs when a convicted person must pay money to the state and victim(s) for damages. Financial stability is not a factor in determining the amount one must pay and failure to do so can lead to jail time. Each individual sentence has its own rationale behind it. Sentencing is not merely a punishment, but is also supposed to serve as a form of rehabilitation. Punishment is applied in order to teach the person that his or her actions must not be repeated. The scale in witch punishment is handed down has multiple purposes. Obviously a life sentence would not be appropriate for somebody who stole merchandise from the mall. However, a murder might just get you that life sentence. In either case a person broke the law. However, we cannot rationalize putting somebody in jail for life as the results of petit theft.

The criminal justice system is tasked with many complex...

References: 1. 2012, Death penalty Debate
2. Types of Criminal Sentences. (2012). Avvo. Retrieved May 12, 2012, from

3. Beck, Allan, Darrell Gilliard, Lawrence Greenfeld, Caroline Harlow, Thomas Hester, Louis Jankowski, Tracy Schnell, James Stephan, and Danielle Morton. 1993. Survey of State Prison Inmates. Washington, D.C.: Bureau of Justice Statistics.
4. Tonry, Michael. 1992. "Mandatory Penalties," In Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Michael Tonry, editor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 243–74.
5. Tonry, Michael, and Mary Lynch. 1996. "Intermediate Sanctions," In Crime and Justice: A Review of Research, Michael Tonry, editor. Chicago: University of Chicago Press: 20:99–144.
6. (2012). Death Penalty Information Center. Retrieved from
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