Sentencing Paper Essay
Americans are so use to the traditional sentencing and the options that have been probation, fines, and going to prison. Concerning the way things were done in the past to now it has changed drastically. Sentencing philosophies, or the justifications on which various sentencing strategies are based, are manifestly intertwined with issues of religion, morals, values, and emotions. Talking about philosophers in history the values they held deep social values. There are five goals of contemporary sentencing:
Retribution is the act of taking revenge on a criminal perpetrator. Today offenders are held responsible for the crimes in which they have committed. Incapacitation is the use of imprisonment or other means to reduce the likelihood that an offender will commit future offenses. This has been referred to the “lock me up approach”. Deterrence is a goal of criminal sentencing that seeks to inhibit criminal behavior through a person scared of punishment. You have the specific deterrence which is should reduce repeat offenses. Then you have general deterrence is a goal of criminal sentencing who have not been arrested yet, this is an attempt to turn crime.
Rehabilitation is an attempt to reform a criminal offender. Rehabilitation usually works through education and psychological treatment to reduce the likelihood of future criminality. Restoration is the goal of criminal sentencing that attempts to make the victim back to the same. Assorted sentencing philosophies continue to permeate state-level judicial systems. Each state has governed its own laws, and making changes of the statutes are not likely. There is a huge variation from one state to another in the laws and procedures that control the imposition of criminal sanctions. There are several forms of punishment that includes:
Fines are a form of criminal sanctions. When a poor person is handed down a fine it could be a huge financial burden on them. Justifications for Capital Punishment which can include lethal injection. This is supposed to help the family get some type of closure for their family member that was murdered. The Courts and the Death Penalty the U.S. Supreme Court is the sounding board for issues that deal with the death penalty. Probation and parole officers generally consist of your lawyer performing an extensive back ground check so that he can provide information to the judge on your behalf. This will help the judge when he decides what length of sentence you should receive for the crime that has been committed.
Imprisonment is when the judge or jury has decided you have to serve time for the crime you have been convicted of. In the judicial system alternative sanctions are court ordered by the judge or prosecutor. Community Service is where you have to volunteer free hours for a certain period depending on your crime. Home detention can be ordered with a monitoring device that will notify your probation officer and courts that you left the home during unapproved hours. Drug treatment could be given to you if there were drugs involved in the crime that was committed; they are looking to give you the help needed.
Talking about sentencing and punishment in today’s courts is not always based on punishment by the evidence at hand. I think there have been more cases they were swayed, because of the publicity that it received. Especially when you have top notch lawyers vs. a public defender. Until I understood the duties and importance of a role a public defender plays in a criminal trial they were lawyers in training to me. They could be lawyers that have not passed the bar yet. I really did not look at or respect them as a real lawyer. Until I saw it for my own eyes sometimes a public defender will do their own work and research on a case which gives them a better understanding of the evidence and the crime itself. I would recommend that harder punishment should be implemented to habitual offenders.
I know that we have the three strike law; however it is not much of deterrence. I think it is stupid that a person has 2 felonies, and then is caught stealing some 25 cent gum and they get life. I would impose that law to read a little different, by looking at the time in between the last felony and were they incarcerated for the 2 previous crimes. Have the person been given the chance to receive rehabilitation. Everyone seems to think that when a person commits a crime they were on drugs or alcohol. That is not always the case it could be because of their mental state. When they are adults no one has tried to help them. I think more people fall through the cracks simply because they don’t know how to ask for help until it is too late.
Schmalleger, F. (2011). Criminal Justice Today: An introductory Text for the 21st Century (11th ed.). Unknown: Prentice Hall.