Criminal Justice | Learning Resources | Section 5.5

Criminal Justice: An Overview of the System by Adam J. McKee

Section 5.5: Sentencing

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Learning Resources

Learning Objectives
5.5(a) Recite the text of the Eighth Amendment, and discuss the impact of each clause on the American criminal justice system.
5.5(b) Describe the differences between structured and indeterminate sentencing.
5.5(c) Describe the different types of structured sentences in use today.
5.5(d) Trace the historical reasons for the development of mandatory sentencing laws.
5.5(e) Describe the content and function of a presentence investigation report.
5.5(f) Trace the history and describe the function of the federal sentencing guidelines.
5.5(g) Outline the major arguments for and against the death penalty.

Slide Presentations

For the Classroom:  INTRO-Section-5-5-presentation

For Printing: INTRO-Section-5-5-print

Present from the web:

Key Terms

  • Appeal
  • Asset Forfeiture
  • Boot Camps
  • Community Service
  • Concurrent Sentence
  • Consecutive Sentence
  • Day Fine
  • Death Penalty
  • Determinate Sentencing
  • Electronic Monitoring
  • Fine
  • Forfeiture
  • Good Time
  • Home Confinement
  • House Arrest
  • Indeterminate Sentencing
  • Intensive Supervision Probation (ISP)
  • Mandatory Sentences
  • Overturn
  • Presentence Investigation Report
  • Probation
  • Proportionality Doctrine
  • Remand
  • Scarlet-Letter Punishments
  • Sentencing
  • Sentencing Hearing
  • Sentencing Reform Act of 1984
  • Sentencing Statute
  • U.S. Sentencing Commission
  • Uphold
  • Victim Impact Statement

Download a Printable Vocabulary Study Guide [PDF]: Intro_Section_5.5

In your more advanced courses and in your future career, your understanding of many technical and legal terms will be taken for granted.  It is vital that you take the time to really understand the terms presented at the end of each section of this course.  We’ve gone to great lengths to provide you with assistance in mastering this vocabulary.  Don’t forget that there is an extensive glossary that defines all of the bold terms that you will encounter in your reading.  In addition, the vocabulary for each section has been made available on a very useful website called  This site has a wide selection of flashcards for you to study, memorize, test yourself on, and more.  Cram also has a large app store so you can find other mobile flashcards for your Android, iPhone or Windows device, allowing you to take your flashcards on the go. There are even games that add some fun to learning important terms.

Study Flashcards for this vocabulary on

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Last Updated:  04/21/2021

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