Washington Law Review


The imposition of sanctions on convicted offenders is a principal vehicle for accomplishing the goals of the criminal law. An appropriate sentencing disposition is as important to the integrity of our system of justice as is the just determination of guilt. Yet the problems, questions, frustrations and self-analysis involved in the sentencing process are complex and heavy burdens. Each judge required to impose a criminal sentence is faced with the difficult tasks of determining the future life of the individual before him or her, balancing the impact on the individual with the needs of society, and drawing the line between the rights of the individual and the interests of the State. The judge must recognize that the consequences of every sentence pronounced extend far into the future and affect the defendant, his family, and society.

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