While I don’t normally use as a discussion question a Critical Thinking Exercise

While I don’t normally use as a discussion question a Critical Thinking Exercise from the text, I thought this one would be particularly interesting. It relates to sentencing guidelines.   Note that the sentencing guidelines have been used to standardize sentencing for particular crimes (see p. 111). Please see the Critical Thinking Exercise on p. 111 of the text and respond to the following question: I will provide the Critical Thinking Exercise page. The use of sentencing guidelines in some states have reduced the discretion exercised by the judges with regard to imposing punishments for crimes. As a result, sentences have become offense based rather than offender based. Do you think a judge should be able to consider the circumstances of the offender when imposing a sentence? Essentially, should an offender’s lack of (or level of) education, home life, history of abuse/non-abuse and so forther, play a role in punishment? Explain. Discussion Question 2 One of the ways to deal with rising caseloads is the use of the courtroom workgroup in which the prosecutor, defense attorney, and judge work together to come to an agreement on a case, usually a plea bargain. To some, this helps the court system move along more efficiently. To others, the courtroom workgroup subverts the adversarial system of justice that the court system is supposed to be. Your question: How do you feel about the courtroom workgroup? are there any alternatives to the workgroup that can achieve the goal of efficiency without undermining the adversarial system?