While in the past, the retributive or punitive aspect has been a foremost element of burglary sentences, in recent times, this has been slowly evolving into a kind of restorative justice, or sentencing, aimed primarily at reparation of economic status of the victims, or seeking to put them in a position, had the felony not taken place. This is apparently aimed at providing material succor to the victims for the property lost or destroyed, due to the felonious act.
Current studies show that, imparting from the charge of leniency in burglary pronouncements, the restorative and reparation part of sentencing practices of courts are gaining more currency, especially with regard to public attitudes and outlooks towards burglary crimes in United States of America. It is also being increasingly seen that punishment for felony needs to commensurate with levels of actual felony the culprit has indulged in.
This proposal seeks to examine public opinion and beliefs towards sentencing practices by Judges and juries and how these have impacted felony cases. It needs to be appreciated that there are many influences that impact upon opinions. Impressions drawn from media coverage and how the general public view felony crimes and its final sentencing results also determines the formulation of opinions. The changing trends in legal pronouncement are also important since they would, to a large extent, set precedents for future trials and sentencing of defendants in burglary cases.
Summary and evaluation of seven designs and methods used in previous research with similar objectives
1. Questionnaires presented to Senate Court Judges on cases of felony.
2. Interviews conducted with executive functionaries of correctional schools
3. Public surveys with selected respondents and responsible private citizens.
4. Interviews with prison wardens and jailers of juvenile homes
5. Conducting studies in prison settings housing criminals with recidivist occurrences of burglary, larceny and similar crimes
6. Information gathered from State police troopers and law enforcement departments.
7. Internet information gathered from US Department of Justice (DoJ) websites
1. Coming to the involvement of senate court judges, it transpires that the members of these juries are responsible for hearing trials and passing verdicts on crimes relating to burglary offences. Their wide ranging knowledge and experience would be important aspects for a study of this kind.
2. It is seen that in cases of burglary crimes committed by juveniles and young people, the courts would sentence them to detention or incarceration, in correctional or reformatory schools, depending upon the severity of the offence. Although forming a minority for the purpose of this survey, this would be useful for the purpose of this survey.
3. Since the public opinion or benefits are a significant part of this research study, it is but natural that this aspect needs to be considered. Therefore, a survey in the line of public research through online questionnaire, or video conferencing