Ch 7: Punishment & Sentencing in Criminal Law

About This Chapter

Work through this chapter at your own pace to review punishment and sentencing concepts in criminal law. Our engaging lessons and quizzes are available whenever you need to improve your understanding of these topics for exams, projects, class assignments or homework.

Punishment & Sentencing in Criminal Law - Chapter Summary

In this chapter, our expert instructors dive into the concepts of punishment and sentencing in criminal law. As you work your way through this chapter's short and entertaining lessons, you'll see how punishment and sentencing is handled in the U.S. criminal justice system, and you can also assess criminal sentencing trends, goals and statistics. Be sure to take the included lesson quizzes and chapter exam. These resources are available at any time, and you can study on any Internet-connected device. By the end of the chapter, you should be able to:

  • Describe the relationship between crime and punishment
  • Recognize the punishment for crime and deviance in American law
  • Assess current sentencing trends and issues
  • Compare types of structured criminal sentencing
  • Define aggravating and mitigating factors in law
  • Differentiate between traditional and alternative options for criminal sentencing
  • Understand the goals of contemporary criminal sentencing
  • Explain the theory of deterrence in criminology, as well reward and punishment theories
  • Evaluate the purpose and advantages of indeterminate criminal sentencing
  • Interpret statistics related to life sentences
  • Identify forms of capital punishment

13 Lessons in Chapter 7: Punishment & Sentencing in Criminal Law
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Relationship Between Crime & Punishment

1. The Relationship Between Crime & Punishment

The criminal law sets out both crimes and punishments, which are designed to align with each other. This lesson defines criminal punishment, explains punishment theories and explores the relationship between crime and punishment.

Crime and Deviance in the U.S. Criminal Justice System: Punishment and Due Process

2. Crime and Deviance in the U.S. Criminal Justice System: Punishment and Due Process

In this lesson, we discuss the U.S. criminal justice system and how it deals with deviant acts. We define due process and discuss four rationales for social punishment: retribution, deterrence, rehabilitation, and societal protection.

Sentencing Issues and Trends in the U.S. Justice System

3. Sentencing Issues and Trends in the U.S. Justice System

Criminal sentencing trends over the last 30 years have resulted in a 500% increase in our nation's prison population. This lesson explores newer strategies that are designed to ease prison overcrowding while achieving public safety.

Structured Criminal Sentencing: Definition, Types & Models

4. Structured Criminal Sentencing: Definition, Types & Models

Structured criminal sentencing is a method of determining an offender's sentence. It classifies offenders using different factors, then imposes a sentence as specified by law. This lesson explains structured criminal sentencing.

Aggravating Factors in Law: Definition & Sentencing

5. Aggravating Factors in Law: Definition & Sentencing

In this lesson, we will define the term aggravating factor as it is used in our criminal justice system. We will also take a look at several examples of how aggravating factors work in sentencing.

Mitigating Factors in Law: Definition & Examples

6. Mitigating Factors in Law: Definition & Examples

In this lesson, we'll discuss what mitigating factors are in our legal system and provide some explanation of how they function in the criminal justice process, in addition to offering a real-world case example.

Traditional & Alternative Criminal Sentencing Options

7. Traditional & Alternative Criminal Sentencing Options

Once a criminal defendant pleads guilty or is found guilty by a jury, he will be sentenced. This lesson discusses the various criminal sentencing options, including traditional and alternative sentencing options.

Types & Goals of Contemporary Criminal Sentencing

8. Types & Goals of Contemporary Criminal Sentencing

Criminal law is designed to punish wrongdoers, but punishment takes different forms and has varying goals. This lesson explores the types and goals of contemporary criminal sentencing.

Theories of Reward & Punishment: Retribution, Utilitarianism & Restitution

9. Theories of Reward & Punishment: Retribution, Utilitarianism & Restitution

How a society handles justice and punishment is an important decision. In this lesson, you will explore three primary philosophies of justice, and test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Deterrence in Criminology: Definition & Theory

10. Deterrence in Criminology: Definition & Theory

Sentencing can be more than just a punishment for a crime. When used properly, sentences can encourage people not to commit a crime. Find out how punishment can stop a crime before it occurs.

Indeterminate Criminal Sentencing: Definition, Purpose & Advantages

11. Indeterminate Criminal Sentencing: Definition, Purpose & Advantages

In the United States, most states use indeterminate sentencing. This means that judges sentence offenders to terms of imprisonment identified only as a range, rather than a specific time period. This lesson explains indeterminate sentencing.

What Is a Life Sentence? - Definition, Length & Statistics

12. What Is a Life Sentence? - Definition, Length & Statistics

Learn what constitutes a life sentence. Review the definition of life sentences, the length of life sentences, and what statistics demonstrate about these terms.

Capital Punishment: Definition, Forms & Moral Arguments

13. Capital Punishment: Definition, Forms & Moral Arguments

In some societies, the ultimate punishment is to deprive someone of life. The methods used to do this, as well as the arguments for and against such action, are discussed in this lesson.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
Not Taken
Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
Not Taken

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