Statements made by the defendant’s impacts greatly on the sentence he will be subjected to. From the statement made, the judge can determine the behavior of the suspect from the way he talks and this could also be linked to the crimes the defendant is accused and it might determine the sentence. The ineligibility of the client for death penalty was arrived from the statements made by the defendants’ team; the judge was not able to validate and accept the evidence presented. The purpose of sentencing is to punish the accused accordingly to the existing legal provisions. Sentencing is structured in two ways; plea bargaining and mandatory sentencing. Plea bargaining is aimed at reducing the sentence from a severe sentence to a more lenient one. It happens for instance when the defense team wants to reduce murder sentence to manslaughter sentence. With regard to mandatory sentencing, the judge sentences the defendant to a longer and severe term after noting that the accused has committed the same crime more than two times.
During sentencing, Judges are limited by investigative reports, state provisions regarding the felony, plea bargaining, behavior of the defendant, mandatory sentencing, past criminal history of the defendant, and available philosophical rationale. Sentencing reforms will influence the judge’s decision in such a way that he will reconsider the minimum sentence, which will help him in stating the sentence for the defendant. Indeed, the actions of the defendant (flipping his middle finger) would influence my decision because I may consider it as disrespect to the court of law.
I agree with the professor’s suggestion of reducing the number of murderers in the country. The rationale behind it is that all murder suspects have a common behavior, which developed through the family setting, which the suspects were raised. This is evident from the fact that the professor says that he is able to write a biography of a murderer and that he has 80% confidence that he will be right about it. Appropriating funds to establish children’s’ home, special educational programs in juvenile systems to give parental guidance and care to juvenile would help in reducing the number of murders in future. Lack of parental care and guidance contribute greatly in influencing the personality of a person, who in turns engages in serious criminal offenses after passing through the juvenile legal system.
United States should not continue to use death penalty as a way of punishing serious criminal offenders. The rationale behind it is that it is not in-line with other legal systems across the world. Apart from that, it is an outdated practice, which needs review and/or sentencing reforms. Mental competency is a factor in the administration of justice in the legal system; a judge can consider it before pronouncing sentence to a suspect.
Bagaric, Mirko. Punishment & Sentencing. London: Routledge-Cavendish, 2001. Print.