Criminal justice Weekly Assignment

Posted: January 19th, 2023

Question 1
There are many different definitions for the term “sentence” in the field of criminal justice. There is one in the textbook, and you can find many more online. Please provide the definition you like best and tell me the source for your definition.
Question 2
There are certain general principles about trials and sentencing that are difficult to get across in an online course since there are no live lectures. I will put three of these basic principles in bullet points below. Please read all three of them and pick one that surprised, interested, or confused you and explain why.
In most states it is judges who decide what a defendant’s sentence will be, not the jury. (There are some exceptions to this rule in states that have the death penalty, but it is almost always a judge who decides sentencing.)
A defendant can waive his/her right to a jury and have the judge decide if s/he is guilty or not guilty, as well as what the sentence will be. A defendant does not have to use a jury at all; it is his/her choice.
When someone pleads guilty and takes a plea bargain deal, it still results in a conviction, and the defendant still has a criminal record. Plea bargains can be appealing since they usually result in a lighter sentence.
Question 3
Please tell me what sentencing guidelines are, and tell me some benefits and drawbacks to them. Three to five sentences is fine.
Question 4
Article about the First Step Act
After reading the article about the First Step Act that is linked in the weekly lesson folder, please tell me what changes this law made when it comes to:
Crack cocaine sentences
Creating a safety valve provision for mandatory sentences (In other words, what is this safety valve?)
Treatment of pregnant and menstruating female prisoners
Good time credit
Placement of inmates within a certain distance of families or homes
Please answer all five things
Question 5
Watch Video that shows arguments for and against mandatory sentences:
Please watch the video linked in this week’s lesson folder. You will see arguments presented both for and against mandatory sentencing. Which argument that was presented in the video impacted you the most and why?

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