Elected to office as a state trial judge

You were recently elected to office as a state trial judge in your local trial court. You have just concluded your first criminal trial and will be sentencing the defendant at an upcoming hearing. As an attorney, you worked exclusively with civil cases, so you are concerned with the sentencing phase of the case, and you want to get this first one right. However, you really do not know where to begin.

Imagine that you are a judge preparing to sentence an offender who was just found guilty at a jury trial on two counts of bank robbery. Address the following questions:

  • What would you need to know about the defendant to impose a sentence?
  • What specific information would you need to know about the offense to aid in sentencing?
  • What are the top 5 factors that you would consider in fashioning a sentence?
  • What would be 2 aggravating and mitigating factors to consider in this case?