What components make up the sentencing process? Which components fall within the judge’s discretion versus what a jury must decide?
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According to the sentencing statutes after a suspect is found guilty the judge has to decide on which judgment to pass.
According to the facts of the case the judge can reduce or enhance a judgment. A judgement therefore comprises of community service, conviction, restitution, fines, suspended judgment and probation. Judges are allowed to evaluate different evidence presented in order to decide which judgment to make in relation to the mitigating circumstances.
According to the sentencing law most of the judgement is done by the Judge and not by the Jurors .In most cases the Judge will point out to the Jurors not to consider punishment when deciding whether a defendant is guilty or not.
However there are instances where the Jury have to give the sentence to a criminal defendant. For example in cases involving capital sentencing, this is in accordance to most State laws on sentencing which requires that the Jury decide on cases which require death penalty. This is because the law does not allow the Judges to pass death penalty sentencing and hence the Jury must be present to decide whether the criminal defendant should die.
Therefore the Judge can decide on other sentences except the death penalty sentencing as required by law.