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NCJ Number: 66623 Find in a Library
Title: JUSTICE AND THE COURTS - PART 3 (FROM JUSTICE, 1976 SEE NCJ-66620)
Author(s): M F HICKEY
Corporate Author: Newsweek
United States of America
Project Director: R N BURCH
Date Published: 1976
Sponsoring Agency: Newsweek
New York, NY 10022
Format: Informational Packet
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE THIRD OF A FOUR-PART SERIES ON CRIME AND PUNISHMENT IN THE U.S., THIS FILMSTRIP EXPLORES THE ROLE OF THE COURTS, FROM ARREST TO SENTENCING, IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM.
Abstract: AMBIVALENCE ABOUT THE DEATH PENALTY ILLUSTRATES THE CONFUSION SOCIETY FEELS ABOUT PUNISHMENT FOR CRIMES. THE CONFUSION BEGINS WHEN THE PRISONER IS SENTENCED. ABOUT 70 TO 80 PERCENT OF ALL DEFENDANTS DO NOT STAND TRIAL FOR THE CRIME FOR WHICH THEY WERE ARRESTED. THE PROSECUTOR WILL ALLOW THEM TO PLEAD GUILTY TO A LESSER OFFENSE, AN AGREEMENT CALLED PLEA BARGAINING. HOWEVER, IF A DEFENDANT STANDS TRIAL AND IS FOUND GUILTY BY THE JURY, THE JUDGE PASSES SENTENCE. AT THIS POINT, THE JUDGE HAS SEVERAL OPTIONS AVAILABLE, SUCH AS A SUSPENDED SENTENCE, PROBATION, COMMITMENT, FINES, AND A PRISON SENTENCE (USUALLY INDETERMINATE, WHEREBY THE OFFENDERS' BEHAVIOR AND 'REHABILITATION' WHILE IN PRISON HELPS TO DETERMINE IF THEY ARE CONFINED THE MINIMUM OR THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF TIME). MANY EXPERTS CONTEND THAT A NEW SENSE OF REALITY IS NEEDED--THAT SOCIETY OUGHT TO ADMIT THAT PRISONS ARE A FORM OF RETRIBUTION, AND THAT PUNISHMENT SHOULD BE DISPENSED EQUALLY. THIS CONCEPT OF EQUAL PUNISHMENT, PREDETERMINED BY LAW AND DISPENSED EQUITABLY AND RAPIDLY, IS GAINING MUCH POPULARITY. IN 1976, SENATOR KENNEDY PROPOSED TWO BILLS IN CONGRESS: ONE WOULD ESTABLISH MANDATORY MINIMUM SENTENCES AND THE OTHER WOULD SET UP A COMMISSION TO ESTABLISH SENTENCING GUIDELINES. WITH SUCH A PLAN, THE DISCRETION AND POWER OF JUDGES WOULD BE SHARPLY CURTAILED AND REHABILITATION WOULD BE VOLUNTARY. THE KIT CONTAINS A COLOR FILMSTRIP AND AN AUDIO CASSETTE. FOR OTHER PARTS OF THIS SERIES, SEE NCJ 66620-22 AND 66624. (PRG)
Index Term(s): Audiovisual aids; Capital punishment; Judicial discretion; Plea negotiations; Prosecutorial discretion; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Punishment; Rehabilitation; Sentencing/Sanctions
Note: *This document is currently unavailable from NCJRS. THE KIT CONTAINS 1 COLOR FILMSTRIP AND 1 AUDIOCASSETTE.
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=66623

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