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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines sentencing as a formal stage in criminal justice. It considers the potential outcomes of sentencing, especially the deprivation of status, property, autonomy, liberty, and even life itself. The discussion begins by focusing on the link between punishment theories and sentencing practice. It then outlines several themes of sentencing, including the nature of discretion and multiple decision-makers, the comparative punitiveness of certain criminal justice systems, and the conflict between individualized sentences and unjustifiable disparities. The chapter then turns to look at different schemes based on their relative level of determinacy, with emphasis on sentencing in the United States.

Keywords: sentencing, criminal justice, punishment, discretion, decision-maker, punitiveness, individualized sentence, unjustifiable disparity, determinacy, United States

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