Sentencing - FindLaw Blotter
FindLaw Blotter - The FindLaw Crime and Criminals Blog

Recently in Sentencing Category

Hate crimes gained national attention following the church shootings by Dylan Roof, which left nine people killed in a Charleston, South Carolina. From statements he made, we know that the attack was racially motivated.

In most states, Roof would be charged with a hate crime. However, South Carolina is one of the few states to not have a hate crime law. The Department of Justice is investigating the shooting as a hate crime, but has not announced yet whether or not they'll charge Roof with a hate crime under federal law.

When criminals such as Roof are charged with hate crimes, what penalties could they face?

What Are Good Time Credits?

For all but the worst offenders, most convicted prisoners don't spend their whole sentence in prison. Many are released early because of good time credits for good behavior or for working.

What are good time credits?

Although a jury handed down the death penalty last month, a judge formally sentenced Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death today for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing that killed three and injured hundreds more.

While the sentencing in some ways felt like a mere formality, it was noteworthy for those who spoke during the nearly four hour hearing. Two dozen survivors and family members of the victims were allowed to give victim impact statements, and Tsarnaev himself addressed the court and the victims for the first time.

Nebraska became the 18th state to ban capital punishment, overcoming a veto by Governor Pete Ricketts. Known as a conservative state with a Republican governor who lobbied against the ban, the legislature voted 30-to-19 to repeal the state's death penalty law.

Nebraska hadn't executed a prisoner since 1997, and was one of many states having trouble procuring lethal injection drugs. It's the first time in 40 years that a Republican-controlled state has abolished the death penalty.

Even though Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was sentenced to death last week, it could be another decade before he is executed. Tsarnaev was convicted in federal court, and the last federal execution took place in 2003.

There are a number of factors that contribute to the average time spent on death row, without taking into account the 152 exonerations of prisoners on death row since 1973. So how long will Tsarnaev's wait be?

The Boston Marathon bomber was sentenced to death last week, and much was made of his reaction (or lack thereof) to the verdict:

That was one of many reactions to Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's demeanor during and after the verdict. Which makes you wonder what people were expecting to see. Did they want to see him show remorse? And when does showing remorse matter, legally speaking?

Even the hardest, most jaded juvenile offender looks out of place in a jail. Juveniles are children. Their minds don't mature properly until their early twenties. So, why do we put children in jail? An Arkansas study found that youths who were previously incarcerated for a crime were 13.5 times more likely to commit another crime.

A better method of dealing with young offenders is juvenile probation. According to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, 61% of cases involving delinquent youths were granted probation instead of detention.

Here is what you need to know about juvenile probation:

After a long and winding legal road, a judge sentenced convicted killer Jodi Arias to life in prison without the possibility of parole. While the verdict itself felt like mere formality, the trial was anything but.

The case, in which Arias was accused of stabbing and shooting her boyfriend to death in 2008, garnered international infamy. And after she was convicted, her sentencing took on a legal life of its own. Now that the case has drawn to a close, here's a timeline of important events that led to the verdict:

A jury found Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all counts regarding his involvement in the 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon. But the case isn't over yet, and the jury's work isn't finished.

Seventeen of the 30 charges for which Tsarnaev was convicted carry a possible death penalty, so now that jurors have found him guilty, they must decide whether to impose that penalty or life in prison. Let's take a look at these separate stages of capital punishment cases and how they work.

Closing arguments in Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's murder trial for 2013 Boston Marathon bombing began this morning. Prosecutors reviewed the evidence and told jurors Tsarnaev and his brother targeted "civilians, men, woman and children, because he wanted to make a point. He wanted to terrorize this country. He wanted to punish America for what it was doing to his people."

Tsarnaev has been charged with 30 counts in the bombing that killed 3 and injured over 260 others, and could face the death penalty if he is convicted as expected.