One thought on “Who determines what punishment a convicted defendant receives?

  1. Arti says:

    a few states have “mandatory” sentences, which limit the judge’s discretion in setting punishment. Mandatory sentencing laws are a response by state legislatures to their perception of the public’s desire to end judicial leniency and treat similarly all people who break the same law. For details, see Sentencing Alternatives: Prison, Probation, Fines, and Community Service. Federal law used to prescribe mandatory sentences; these are now used more like guidelines. Yes, lesser sentences can include suspended sentences, probation, restitution (victim compensation), and community service. Diversion programs, available to a few defendants charged with misdemeanors involving drugs or alcohol, also may be available. If the judge has discretion to determine the sentence, the defense may bring to a judge’s attention an infinite number of factual circumstances that may move the judge to impos If the judge has discretion to determine the sentence, the defense may bring to a judge’s attention an infinite number of factual circumstances that may move the judge to impose a lighter sentence.

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