As a nation we are incarcerating citizens at a high rate. Out prison population doubled from 1990 to 2010. The United States incarcerates more people on a per-capita basis than any other country in the world. There are different theories of punishment, an alternative to the current sentencing framework (“restorative justice”) and the contemporary issues of prison overcrowding. 1. Review Professor LaFave’s “Purposes of the Criminal Law – Theories of Punishment” (Pg. 5-9). LaFave discusses six theories of punishment. 2. Read United States v. Bergman (Pgs. 9-16). This is a 1976 Federal District Court case where a 64 year-old distinguished Rabbi had pled guilty to two crimes, wherein the sentence could be as much as eight years in prison. The case largely addresses his pleas for mercy and the various arguments for a lesser sentence. Take the position of EITHER the prosecution OR defendant and tell me, in at least 200 words, why you agree OR disagree with the Judge’s decision. 3.Take the position of EITHER the prosecutor or the defense attorney and tell me, in at least 200 words, WHY the Judge’s decision in Bergman was correct or incorrect.
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