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Paper Topic:

sentencing

I disagree with the statement that crime seriousness and prior criminal records are not legally relevant variables during sentencing The goal of incarceration is twofold not only is it intended as a deterrent to future crime , but it is supposed to keep the more dangerous criminals off of the street and away from society . The court may often impose mandatory sentencing , which takes away the use of variables

One might argue that a five-year sentence for a 50 robbery is excessive or even immoral , but to a judge , those arguments are necessarily

irrelevant . He or she has agreed to enforce the law , no matter how ill-advised , unless the law is unconstitutional (Forer , 1992

Crime seriousness must play an important role in sentencing . For example , a person might commit a crime by entering a home , stealing a few items , and leaving . Another person might enter the home , steal items , and cause injury to the victims of the crime . They , of course should not be given the same sentence . The criminal who chooses to steal but not harm the victim should be sentenced while keeping in mind that no one was physically injured during the act . The criminal who chooses to assault his victims in addition to stealing should be given a harsher sentence . As a result , the court system can distinguish the Susan Smiths from the Jeffery Dahmers

Prior criminal records tell the court whether or not the criminal is likely to offend again . An example would be two men who assault another person . The first man has never been in trouble with the law before the second man has a long history of arrests , especially for violent crimes The first man should be given a lighter sentence in to use the sentence as a deterrent to future acts , but not to keep him in prison so long that he begins to relate to the other prisoners . The second man has proven that he has no interest in following the law and does not intend to stop committing crimes . He should be given a harsher sentence , as the previous sentences were not long enough to act as a deterrent to future crime

In conclusion , a crime does not exist in a vacuum . The circumstances surrounding the crime and the criminal must be taken into account in to issue an appropriate sentence

Works Cited

Forer , L . G (1992 , April . Justice by the Numbers Mandatory Sentencing Drove Me from the Bench . Washington Monthly , 24 , 12...

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