Discussion Questions

  1. What sort of crime should be punishable by a long prison sentence? By probation?
  2. Discuss the goals of punishment. Come up with examples of different sentencing options and ask the class to identify how the goals of punishment are met with each.
  3. What are aggravating and mitigating circumstances? Provide examples of each and explain how they can impact sentencing decisions.
  4. The author suggests that the sentence should fit the crime. What are some of the factors that should be considered when attempting to fit a sentence to a crime?
  5. Why are victim impact statements important?