Learning Objectives

As a result of reading this chapter, you will be able to

  • Delineate the four goals of punishment and explain the factors that influence the type of punishment that a convicted person will receive
  • Describe the historical development of, and different philosophies regarding, crime and punishment from the colonial era to today, and how different types of prisons were built accordingly
  • Describe the differences between, and purposes of, both determinate and indeterminate sentences
  • Review federal and state-level sentencing guidelines
  • Explain the law and purposes surrounding the use of victim impact statements
  • Describe the fundamental arguments for and against capital punishment, including key Supreme Court decisions concerning its existence and application, methods of execution, and DNA exonerations from death sentences
  • Describe aggravating and mitigating circumstances as they apply to sentencing decisions
  • Explain the right to appeals by those who are convicted