The offender’s verdict greatly depends on the prosecutorial discretion. Historically, it has become not unusual for defendants of similar crime to receive different verdict. Evidently, prosecutors have…
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Moreover, this paper identifies the most important factor of prosecutorial discretion. It will also answer the question on whether or not sentencing disparity is fair or equitable. Finally, this paper will compare and contrast this disparity from the ethical point of view.
People have an intuitive idea of the meaning of sentencing disparity. Paradoxically, the concept of unwarranted disparity becomes bleak upon deeper reflection. Two offenders, for instance, with the same crime of breaking and entering, are sentenced with one year and five years, respectively. Roberts (1999) posed an enduring question: Which sentence is disparate? They seem to emphasize the sentence or conviction that is categorically considered as disparate.
Undoubtedly, there exists an unwarranted disparity in the case between the two above-mentioned offenders. In a survey conducted, 60 percent of over four-hundred respondents admitted that there is a degree of sentence variation among judges (Roberts, 1999). By and large, sentencing disparity occurs two or more offenders, having different committed crimes, are convicted with the same level and nature of punishment (Clear, Cole, & Reisig, 2009). And sentencing disparity is more obvious in the prosecutors’ judgment.
Sentencing disparity is normative rather than empirical (Alschuler, 2005). Its archetype is the sentencing by lottery. In the lottery system, different numbers are treated as the same number by virtue of chance or probability. Similar to lottery, offenders with different crimes committed are equally treated like the same criminal by virtue of sentencing disparity. Equality, of course, means the consistent application of principles to different cases (Alschuler, 2005). Apparently, sentence disparity deviates from consistency or equality.
There are three chief divisions of factors influencing prosecutorial discretion: (1) legal issue, (2) extralegal issue, and (3) resources issue (Siegel, 2008). First, legal issue refers to
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Violent, Overcrowded Prisons Negatively Affects Society.
Prisons in the United States suffer from serious problems associated with over-crowding, poor sanitation, violence, drugs and sexual assault. It has been argued by many over many years that imprisonment is expensive and ineffective, yet it continues to be a major feature of penal policy in the justice system.
A handful of countries have stopped capital punishment since 1900 and by the beginning of the millennium, at least two-thirds of the world no longer impose capital punishment (Hodgkinson and Shabas 1). There is a longstanding debate between the abolitionists or those who seek to remove the death penalty and those who believe in its traditional effect of retribution.
The type and extent to which the victims suffer injury is one of the considerations, for the sake of the definition. The degree and nature of the victims connection to the acts of the offender is yet another consideration (Andrew, 15). In law also, the definition of a victim also depends on whether the victim was at fault at the time the offense leading to his injury occurred.
Children in their early teenage years commit crimes without their knowledge as they go through their challenging adolescent stage. This is normally motivated by peer pressure whereby the deviant teenagers lure their friends to commit crimes in the name of having thrilling fun in their neighborhoods.
American criminal laws while on the face of it appears to be neutral but is implemented in a style that is pervasively and massively appears to be prejudiced. The fifty years long fight against racial discrimination appears to be a mirage as the racial inequality that exists in the criminal justice system is still trying to punish blacks and forgives the white majority for criminal offences.
The principle of proportionately in criminal sentencing is mainly practiced by the Supreme Court of United States of America. As per this principle, the court is required to seek that the punishment sentenced are appropriate in accordance with the crime committed under the ‘Cruel and Unusual Punishment Clause’.
Punishment is a positive reinforcement of peoples believes against offending. The philosophy of punishment is founded on how and whether punishment can be justified. There are two main approaches to justifying punishment, and these are punishment as public censure and punishment as a way of restoring the equilibrium changed by the offence.
ok to the witness stand and personally and publicly apologized to the victim’s family and colleagues at the brothel for his role in the victim’s death. By pleading not guilty to murder but guilty to manslaughter, robbery, and unlawful confinement, the accused showed how
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