Capital Sentencing Decisions: Article Analysis

Good Essays
For this assignment, I reviewed two articles on the Criminal Justice database library. One focused on bail decisions, and how this can sometimes affect the outcome of the sentencing phase. The other article focused on Capital Sentencing Decisions, that focused on the portrayal of the victim. Both of these articles gave some interesting theories of how judges and jury decide the fate of one’s future. It described how certain factors can influence the judge or jury in their decision making. The sentencing phase has factors that are considered before determining someone’s outcome. The media that is reporting the case to the public, has a major influence on the judge’s decision for sentencing. The judge also has an obligation to the legislatures …show more content…
Not only is the judge thinking about the victim during sentencing, but the jury can be sympathetic to the victim, as well. According to Zaykowski, Kleinstuber, McDonough (2014), they state that “although the Victim’s Rights Movement has led to advances for victims of crime, the use of victim impact evidence in criminal trials remains controversial due to the suspicion that such evidence enhances punitive attitudes and arbitrariness in capital sentencing outcomes” (p 1). The article continues to discuss the Victim’s impact on the case. If the judge or jury can sympathize with the victim, the sentence will be harsher. They explain that a victim who can be considered an Ideal Victim, can influence the judge and jury to the point of sentencing. An Ideal Victim is perceived to be more legitimate when the victim is weaker than the offender, acting virtuously, unknown to the offender, and blameless for the harms she experienced (Zaykowski, kleinstuber, and McDonough, …show more content…
There are also times when the victim is not ideal. In fact, there are victims that have placed themselves in a situation that was not considered the norm, and led to the crime. These victims are not considered Ideal and have less of an impact on the jurors. The judge, who has more experience, and knowledge of the legislature, can generally separate his personal feelings from the hearing, and can focus on the outcome of the trial in order to sentence the offender. According to Siegel, Schmalleger, and Worrell (2015), “a number of factors, including the seriousness of the crime, the defendant’s prior record, the defendant’s possible threat to the community and the defendant’s degree of remorse for committing the crime, influence the final sentencing decision” (p. 380). I found that both of these articles reviewed, have some truth about the factors that can influence the sentencing process of an offender. I agree with the authors and researcher’s opinions that the media and how the community perceives the story can influence the impact. I also agree that the victim can influence the case, causing harsher

Related Documents

  • Decent Essays

    This can be taken multiple ways based on history. This was an act to reform the criminals consequently some had concerns with disparity and others had concerns with law and order. The federal guidelines were different from some states such as Pennsylvania. Federal guidelines were a disaster in those days and Pennsylvania’s guidelines permitted the judges a lot of discretion in sentencing. During sentencing the key ingredient is to measure the severity of the crime not the preponderance of the…

    • 1115 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Meanwhile, by resolving the issues of discrimination in our society in general, we will level the aspects of outcast and will possibly deter criminal involvement. Furthermore, by researching this topic I’ve learned that we do discriminate in our court system which as hopeful future lawyer it shames me that this disrespectful manner is allowed in the process of sentencing another…

    • 763 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Veronica Waters S00169400 Tutor Name: Jen Koch Veronica Waters S00169400 Tutor Name: Jen Koch Uncc300 assessment task 2: case study Case Study 2: Human Dignity and Capital Punishment This essay will discuss human dignity and capital punishment. Human dignity is a critical factor because this is someone?s life that could be ended because of people?s different views on dignity and it challenges the significance of human dignity from different perspectives. This issue of human dignity and the capital punishment will be explored through two different perspectives. The first perspective to be examined is perspective two; that people that are found guilty of a major crime should be given the chance to rehabilitate themselves and restore their…

    • 2156 Words
    • 9 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    First, it helps to inform our understanding of how sentencing law influences plea bargaining. START Given the centrality of pleas for the disposition of criminal cases, studying how sentencing structure impacts the incentives of prosecutors and defendants in plea negotiations is important to our understanding of the criminal justice system. Second, the use of the death penalty as leverage in plea negotiations raises important legal and ethical issues. Defendants are typically required to waive important constitutional rights as a condition of the plea agreement. Many of these rights are considered crucial to the accurate determination of guilt and punishment at trial, so the absence of these protections may undermine our confidence in that determination.…

    • 827 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The textbook defines the harmless error doctrine as an incident where “an appellate court can affirm one’s conviction despite the presence of of serious prosecutorial misconduct during the trial” (p. 52). This doctrine exemplifies how prosecutors can practically feel inclined to engage in misconduct seeing that it is very difficult for the court system to punish them for such behavior. Furthermore, this doctrine may also apply to serious cases such as death penalty trials, demonstrating the potential for prosecutor misconduct to negatively effect the outcome of any case, large or small. The author of the chapter provides his suggestion considering the current method in which the criminal justice system deals with motions of trial misconduct. He suggests, “motions for retrial based on false testimony presented by prosecution witnesses should be governed by a standard drawn from newly discovered evidence and prosecutorial misconduct” (p. 52).…

    • 652 Words
    • 3 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    However, the jury should consider the defendant 's reason behind the crime and try to humanize the defendant before arriving to a conclusion. In addition, he conveys concern on how sometimes criminals such as drug dealers have crimes that are weighed as heavily as murder, and that their crimes should not be so heavily penalized. He also points out that the victim should have a say behind the punishment if…

    • 1671 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    Of course, there are other alternatives to punish someone for their crimes that people commit and government already has determined by their rules and laws. Shame may not be a correct way to punish someone for their small crimes, yet shaming seems to be the effective way to help people…

    • 877 Words
    • 4 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The general topic the class experiment was how attractiveness affected the sentence length of a crime. This is important since it directly affects the lives of defendants in court room situations. Judges should be aware of this potential bias as they are deciding ruling. Sigall and Ostrove, conducted a study focusing on the same topic. The independent variable was the level of attractiveness with the crime committed.…

    • 1656 Words
    • 7 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    The principles of restorative justice have promised great offers for the victim. The definition of crime is refined to create responsibilities to recognise the victim. To imposing validation of the victim’s worth as a part of the community, the victims are motivated. The idea is that when a crime occurs then it produce duty to identify the victim as a person to whom the offender is primarily and seriously responsible. As the principle of RJ, the aim of the conference is to reparation of harm, hence it delivers chances for effective and successful participation of victim to calculating harms and requirements because of harm.…

    • 3141 Words
    • 13 Pages
    Decent Essays
  • Decent Essays

    They both originate from a dispute between two parties, they both have pretrial procedures, they both have discovery processes, and they are both brought before a judge and jury. The major differences between them is the requirement for more stringent efforts to prove a violation occurred in criminal cases, the discovery requirements, and the burden of proof required to establish guilt. The reason for this, is if found guilty of a criminal matter certain rights are taken away from the guilty party. For example, their freedom when incarcerated, right to vote, right to possess firearm, and the social stigmas associated with being a convicted…

    • 1256 Words
    • 6 Pages
    Decent Essays

Related Topics