Section 6.5: Criminal Punishments

Fundamentals of Procedural Law by Adam J. McKee

After a criminal conviction, what comes next? The answer lies in the sentencing hearing, an essential part of procedural law. Here, we dive deep into the heart of criminal punishments and explore its key aspects.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Sentencing Hearing

Firstly, let’s discuss the sentencing hearing. In this critical phase, the judge decides the appropriate punishment for the convicted person. It is, above all, a crucial step in delivering justice.

Presentence Investigations & Prior Convictions

Also, it is important to understand presentence investigations and the role of prior convictions. These investigations aid in determining the sentence. If a defendant has prior convictions, they can greatly influence the decision.

Victim Impact Statements

Additionally, victim impact statements play a significant role. Victims of crime have the right to express the impact of the crime on their lives. After all, justice should not only consider the wrongdoer but also the person harmed.

Types of Criminal Sentences

What types of sentences might a criminal face? This part examines the range of potential punishments, from fines to the death penalty. Each crime carries specific penalties, determined by factors like the severity of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history.


A common form of punishment is fines. The convicted person is required to pay a certain amount of money. Not only do fines deter crime, but they also offer some compensation to the victim or society.

Forfeiture of Property

For certain crimes, the court can order forfeiture of property. In this case, the convicted person loses ownership of their assets. This punishment is usually associated with offenses like drug trafficking or fraud.


Incarceration is a severe penalty where the offender is confined to a prison or jail. Both the length and conditions of incarceration can vary widely.

The Death Penalty

Lastly, we will cover the most extreme punishment: the death penalty. It’s a controversial topic, with fierce debate over its morality and effectiveness.


After the sentencing, there’s still a final step: the appeal. The convicted person can challenge the sentence, seeking to have it overturned or reduced. It’s a key part of ensuring fairness in the criminal justice process.

All in all, this section provides a comprehensive view of criminal punishments. By understanding this, you will have a better grasp of procedural law. It’s not only about the crime, but also about what comes afterward. So, let’s embark on this journey to understand the complexities and nuances of criminal sentencing.

Modification History

File Created:  08/06/2018

Last Modified:  08/06/2018

[ Back | Content | Next]

This work is licensed under an Open Educational Resource-Quality Master Source (OER-QMS) License.

Open Education Resource--Quality Master Source License



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.