Quick Answer: Should Judges Have More Or Less Discretion When It Comes To Sentencing?

What is the key difference between a mitigating circumstance and an aggravating circumstance?

Mitigating factors are extenuating circumstances that might lead to a reduced sentence.

Aggravating factors are circumstances that increase the defendant’s culpability and could lead to an enhanced or maximum sentence..

Are judges given too much discretion when it comes to sentencing?

When judges impose a sentence there is always a question of discretion against the rule of law. … Judges have experience and knowledge of the law and in sentencing offenders, thus should be trusted to exercise their moral judgement at their own discretion when imposing a sentence.

How much discretion does a judge have?

A judge has no discretion in making his findings of fact. He has no discretion in his rulings on the law. But when, having made any necessary finding of fact and any necessary ruling of law, he has to choose between different courses of action, orders, penalties, or remedies, he then exercises a discretion.

What are the arguments for and against allowing judges broad discretion in criminal sentencing?

The arguments for the allowing judges to apply broad discretion in criminal sentencing are; -Facilitates the criminal proceedings in the court of law-the criminal proceedings would be facilitated and the procedure more efficient when the judges can apply discretion based on the developments around the criminal case.

Does the judge give the sentence?

How does a judge decide my sentence? Unless you plead guilty to a criminal charge, a jury will decide whether you are innocent or guilty. However, the jury does not determine the sentence. It is the judge’s job to order a penalty for your conviction.

Should judges have discretionary sentencing power?

When judges impose a sentence there is always a question of discretion against the rule of law. … Judges have experience and knowledge of the law and in sentencing offenders, thus should be trusted to exercise their moral judgement at their own discretion when imposing a sentence.

What is the main concept of determinate sentencing?

A determinate sentence is a jail or prison sentence that has a defined length and can’t be changed by a parole board or other agency. A determinate sentence is a jail or prison sentence that has a defined length and can’t be changed by a parole board or other agency.

What is the most important factor the judge takes into account when sentencing?

More commonly, criminal statutes do not carry mandatory sentences. Rather, judges can take a number of factors into account when deciding on an appropriate punishment. For instance, judges may typically consider factors that include the following: the defendant’s past criminal record, age, and sophistication.

Are judges more lenient on first time offenders?

First time offenders generally get the most lenient and fairest treatment in the criminal justice system. Depending on the severity, judges are far likelier to impose lenient sentences on first time offenders out of sympathy for a person who has made an error in judgement.

What to say to judge at sentencing?

But during the sentencing hearing, when the judge asks the defendant if he has anything to say, the defendant should speak sincerely. Instead of reading, stand straight. Let the judge look into your eyes. Show the judge that you are remorseful.

Can a judge change a plea bargain at sentencing?

If the Judge Accepts the Plea Once the judge accepts the defendant’s guilty or no contest plea and enters a conviction, that judge can’t later overturn the plea agreement. … If the defendant doesn’t satisfy the conditions, the judge can reject the plea and resentence the defendant.

Who has most control over sentencing decisions?

WASHINGTON, Dec. 10 — The Supreme Court on Monday restored federal judges to their traditional central role in criminal sentencing. In two decisions, the court said federal district judges had broad discretion to impose what they think are reasonable sentences, even if federal guidelines call for different sentences.