You are a judge and an individual appears before you having been convicted of stealing others' identities for monetary gain. What specific information would be important to know before imposing a sentence?How would you incorporate the sentencing goals of retribution, incapacitation, deterrence, rehabilitation, and restitution in your sentence of this individual for this particular crime?
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Re: Sentencing Upon the Conviction of ID Theft
Unfortunately identity theft has become all too common with the use of computers and internet purchasing. Is this a crime that sentencing decisions could enable restitution to the victim? In the case presented here, we can presume that there was enough money stolen through identity theft that the crime was a felony.
Within the criminal justice system there is a process commonly known as the "correctional filter." This can include probation with a variety of requirements and/or plea-bargaining. By the time the sentencing stage is reached, the subject felon has already passed through this "filter" and now will be sentenced by a judge, or depending on the crime, a jury.
Sentencing has become quite complex for a variety of reasons, including the prevalence of street gangs, drug offenders and now computer scams and theft identity. Previously there was a much broader spectrum to sentencing, because there was more discretion based on the premise that the prisoner would be rehabilitated and at that point a parole board would be able to determine whether or not rehabilitation had actually occurred and then decide the length of the sentence.
Around 1974 this discretion began to change for a variety of reasons. Today probably the most influential entities in determining sentencing have been the tendency of the media to report the most heinous crimes in a manner which infers that crime rates are increasing, rather than the reality that they are decreasing, and the tendency of politicians to sue the public's ...
Identity theft is becoming common since computers and internet purchasing have also become common. This paper addresses a variety of choices the judge now has in selecting the appropriate sentencing for this crime. It also discusses the limitations now placed on judges by sentencing guidelines and mandatory sentencing rules.