About This Chapter
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Earning College Credit
Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.
To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page
Transferring credit to the school of your choice
Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Study.com has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.
Other chapters within the Criminal Justice 107: Criminal Law course
- Criminal Law: Purposes, Scope & Sources
- Understanding the Types of Jurisdiction
- Essential Elements of a Crime
- Criminal Liability Types
- Justification & Excuse Defenses
- Substantive & Procedural Law
- Legal Overview of Homicide
- Sexual Offenses & Offenders Overview
- Robbery, Theft, Burglary & Property Crimes
- Assault & Battery Overview
- False Imprisonment & Kidnapping
- White, Blue & Green-Collar Crime