Alternatives to Incarceration

 

 

As a trial court judge, you are faced with sentencing a 19 year old male with the crime of Possession of Marijuana, a Class 6 felony. (This charge was originally filed as Sale of Marijuana, a more serious felony however, was pled down to a lesser offense as a result of the defendant’s lack of any prior arrests or convictions.). At the time of arrest, the defendant conceded that he “smokes weed daily” and would occasionally sell small quantities of “pot” to offset his own costs for using the drug. John has a 10th grade education and is currently unemployed. He presents as a likable, intelligent man but has little focus in life and no stated aspirations. He has had 4 jobs in the past 6 months. As the judge, you have available a wide range of sentencing alternatives to impose in this case. Your readings this week introduced you to a number of these alternatives, all of which would be available to you as the judge about to sentence this young man.

For your assignment please address the following:

(1) What factors should a judge take into account before imposing a sentence in this given scenario.

(2) Based on the lesson materials, explain which sentencing alternative best fits this defendant and what we can hope to accomplish by imposing it.

(3) After a determination of guilt is made and the defendant is allowed to remain in the community, identify what specific terms of his release should be imposed.

(4) Evaluate if incarceration would serve a useful purpose in this scenario. Defend your position!

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