A sentence is the punishment for a specific criminal act. In some states, the legislature sets a specific sentence for each crime, such as ten years for an armed robbery. In other states, the legislature specifies a range of time, like two, three, or four years, for each crime; the judge then chooses the appropriate sentence, based on the defendant’s history and the circumstances of the case. Finally, when the prosecution has tried a case as a death penalty case, the jury that heard the case and found the defendant guilty will then be asked to decide whether to impose the death penalty.
Who Sets a Sentence, and How's It Determined?
Politicians and judges are involved in sentencing.