The Law: Judging Sentences

Should the punishment fit the crime? To most penologists, criminologists, judges and even many prosecutors, a far more important concern is whether the sentence fits the offender. Thus, judges throughout the U.S. have leeway to give stiff or light sentences according to the merits of the individual case. After considering the results of broad judicial discretion in New York State, Chief Judge Stanley Fuld of the court of appeals was so dismayed that last week he suggested that it might be necessary to remove the sentencing power from judges altogether and turn it...

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