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FSU CCJ 2020 - Chapter 11

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Outlines:Chapter 11:I. The Philosophy and Goals of Criminal Sentencing:- Sentencing philosophies are intertwined with issues of religion, morals, values and emotions- Centuries ago it was thought that crime was due to sin and that suffering was the culprit’s due- An emphasis on equitable punishments became prevalent around the time of American and French Revolutions, brought about by enlightenment- Modern sentencing practices are influenced by 5 goals- Retribution- Incapacitation- Deterrence- Rehabilitation- Restoration A. Deterrence:A. Call for punishment based on a perceived need for vengeance.B. Earliest known rationale for punishmentC. Today retribution corresponds to the just deserts model of sentencing, which holds that offenders are responsible for their crimesA. primary tool: imprisonment D. Retribution sees punishment as deserved, justified and requiredE. During 1990s, there was more demand for retribution B. Incapacitation:- Second goal of criminal sentencing, seeks to protect innocent members of society from offenders who might harm then if not prevented from doing so. - Modern incapacitation strategies separate offenders form the community to reduce opportunities for further criminality- Unlike retribution, requires only restraint and not punishment- Ancient times, mutilation and amputation were used to prevent offenders from committing crimeC. Deterrence:- Uses threat of punishment to convince people that criminal activity is not worthwhile- Specific deterrence: seeks to prevent offender from engaging in repeat criminality- General deterrence: seeks to prevent crime by making an example of the person sentenced.- Compatible with the goal of incapacitationD. Rehabilitation:- Seeks to bring about fundamental changes in offenders and their behavior.- In late 1970s the rehabilitative goal in sentencing fell victim to the “nothing works” doctrineE. Restoration:- Seeks to address this damage by making the victim and the community “whole again”- Restorative justice is also referred to as balanced and restorative justice- Balance is achieved by giving equal consideration to community safety and offender accountability- The community safety dimension of the RJ philosophy recognizes that the justice system has a responsibility to protect the public from crime and offenders- Accountability defines criminal conduct in terms of obligations occurred by the offender, both to the victim and community- Essentially, RJ is community-focused; primary goal is improving the quality of life for all members of the community- Sentencing Options Program in 1995: (Vermont) built around the concept of reparative probation- requires the offender to make reparations to the victim and to the community, marks the first time in the US the restorative model was enforced by a state deptII.Indeterminate Sentencing - Relies heavily on judges discretion to choose among types of sanctions and to set upper and lower limits on the length of prison stays. - Incapacitation is increasingly becoming the sentencing strategy of choice today but some practices still allow judges to impose fines, probation, etc- Indeterminate sentencing is the belief that convicted offenders are more likel to participate in their own rehabilitation if participation will reduce the amount of time they have to spend in prison- Judicial discretion also extends to the imposition of concurrent or consecutive sentences when the offender is convicted on more than one charge- Was also created to take into consideration detailed differences in degrees of guilt- 1: whether the offender committed th ecrime out of a need for money, for the thrill it afforded, out of a desire for revenge or just for the “hell of it”- 2: how much harm the offender intended - 3: how much the victim contributed to his/her own victimization- 4: extent of damages inflicted- 5: mental state of the offender- 6: likelihood of successful rehabilitation- 7: degree of the offender’s cooperation with authorities A. Critiques of Indeterminate Sentencing:- Critics claim that the indeterminate model allows judges personalities and personal philosophies to produce too wide a range of sentencing practices - Offenders may be sentenced according to gender, race, and social class- Tends to produce dishonesty in sentencing because of the gain time for gain/good time- gain time: participation in special programs - good time: good behaviorIII. Structured Sentencing: - Until the 1970s, all states used indeterminate sentencing until they wanted to stop discretion of judges- Critics of indeterminate model called for the recognition of 3 fundamental sentencing principles: proportionality, equality, and social debt.- Proportionality: refers to the belief that the severity of sanctions should bear a direct relationship to the seriousness of the crime committed.- Equity: similar crimes should be punished with the same degree of severity, regardless of characteristics of offenders- Social debt: offenders criminal history should objectively be taken into account in sentencing decisions - A number of states addressed these concerns and created determinate sentencing (structured sentencing)- requires that a offender be sentenced to a fixed term that may be reduced by good time - Eliminated the use of parole and created explicit standards to specify the amount of punishment appropriate for a given offense.- 1980s states created the voluntary/advisory sentencing guidelines: consist of recommended sentencing policies that are not required by law and serve as guides to judges. - FL, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, Utah and Wisconsin all experimented with this. - Presumptive sentencing: model of criminal punishment that meets the following conditions: - 1: appropriate sentencing for an offender convicted to a specific charge will fall under a range of sentences authorized by sentencing guidelines adopted by a legislatively created sentencing body- 2: judges are expected to sentence within range - 3: there is a mechanism for review for any departure of guidelinesA. Federal Sentencing Guidelines:- 1984: Comprehensive Crime Control Act: the federal government adopted presumptive sentencing for nearly all federal offenders.- addressed truth in sentencing- eliminated good-time credits and began process of phasing out federal parole- established 9 member US Sentencing Commission- limited discretion of judges by demanding federal sentencing guidelines- Mistretta v


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