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How Do Judges Decide?
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How Do Judges Decide?
The Search for Fairness and Justice in Punishment

Second Edition


February 2009 | 376 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc
How are sentences for Federal, State, and Local crimes determined in the United States? Is this process fairly and justly applied to all concerned? How have reforms affected the process over the last 25 years? This text for advanced undergraduate students in criminal justice programs seeks to answer these questions.
 
CHAPTER 1: THE GOALS OF SENTENCING
Why Punish?

 
How Much To Punish?

 
Theories of Punishment and Judges' Sentencing Decisions

 
Conclusion

 
 
CHAPTER TWO: THE SENTENCING PROCESS
The Judge's Options at Sentencing

 
Sentencing as a Collaborative Exercise

 
The Sentencing Process

 
 
CHAPTER 3: HOW DO JUDGES DECIDE?
Modeling the Sentencing Process

 
Sentencing and Case Attributes

 
Sentencing and Characteristics of the Judge

 
How do Judges Decide?

 
 
CHAPTER 4: SENTENCING DISPARITY AND DISCRIMINATION: A FOCUS ON GENDER
Types of Sentencing Discrimination

 
Gender Disparity in Sentencing

 
Disparity and Discrimination in Sentencing

 
 
CHAPTER 5: SENTENCING DISPARITY AND DISCRIMINATION: A FOCUS ON RACE/ETHNICITY
Racial Disparity in Sentencing

 
Race and Judges' Sentencing Decisions

 
Race and the Death Penalty: A Failed Experiment?

 
Justice From the Bench?

 
 
CHAPTER 6: THE SENTENCING REFORM MOVEMENT
Structured Sentencing Reforms

 
Presumptive Sentencing Guidelines

 
Mandatory Minimum Sentencing Statutes

 
Three-Strikes-and-You're Out Laws

 
Truth in Sentencing Laws

 
Three Decades of Reform

 
 
CHAPTER 7: THE IMPACT OF SENTENCING REFORMS
Have Sentencing Reforms Led to More Punitive Sentences?

 
Have Sentencing Reforms Led to a Reduction in Crime?

 
Have Sentencing Reforms Reduced Disparity and Discrimination?

 
Assessing the Impact of the Sentencing Reform Movement

 

"It is the most comprehensive analysis of sentencing practices in the United States in general, and of how judges decide in particular.  It provides ample statistics of the realities of punishment and provides readers with the conclusions from several decades of research investigating judicial discretion."

Richard D. Hartley
University of Texas at San Antonio

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