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The awaited court sentencing has been passed

The judge determines a defendant’s sentence, not the jury. When a defendant enters a plea of guilty, no contest, or is found guilty after a trial in a minor case, judges typically promptly impose a punishment. When significant incarceration is a possibility, the court may defer imposing a sentence until a subsequent sentencing hearing, which is usually arranged separately. When the judge is just approving the sentence reached during plea talks, the sentencing phase of a criminal case frequently only lasts a few minutes. The courtroom may still be filled with the echoes of a defendant’s guilty plea while the judge sentences him or her to, for instance, “a fine of $250, 10 days in jail suspended, and one-year probation.” When sentences are negotiated as part of a plea agreement, even felonies can be resolved quickly. For instance, a defendant who pleaded guilty was sentenced to seven years in prison after a six-minute hearing in a felony narcotics possession case under California’s three-strikes rule. However, sentencing is not always a quick process, particularly when the judge has the power to impose a significant prison sentence. Usually, the probation office will have created a presentence report that details the defendant’s criminal history, family background, history of substance addiction, and other relevant information. The probation officer’s recommendations and the factual findings on which those recommendations are based will also be subject to debate between the defense and prosecution. Judges frequently take into account both the written presentence report from the probation officer and the oral testimony given in open court when determining what sentence to impose. Prosecutors, defense counsel, victims, and the defendant are typically the speakers at sentencing proceedings.

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