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1) n. the punishment given to a person convicted of a crime. A sentence is ordered by the judge, based on the verdict of the jury (or the judge's verdict if there was no jury) within the possible punishments set by state law (or Federal law in convictions for a Federal crime). Popularly, "sentence" refers to the jail or prison time ordered after conviction, as in "his sentence was 10 years in state prison." Technically, a sentence includes all fines, community service, restitution or other punishment, or terms of probation. Defendants who are first offenders without a felony record may be entitled to a probation or pre-sentence report by a probation officer based on background information and circumstances of the crime, often resulting in a recommendation as to probation and amount of punishment. For misdemeanors (lesser crimes) the maximum sentence is usually one year in county jail, but for felonies (major crimes) the sentence can range from a year to the death penalty for murder in most states. Under some circumstances the defendant may receive a "suspended sentence" which means the punishment is not imposed if the defendant does not get into other trouble for the period he/she would have spent in jail or prison, "concurrent sentences" in which the prison time for more than one crime is served at the same time and only lasts as long as the longest term, "consecutive sentences," in which the terms for several crimes are served one after another, and "indeterminate" sentences in which the actual release date is not set and will be based on review of prison conduct. (See: concurrent sentence, suspended sentence, indeterminate sentence, restitution, death penalty)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

SENTENCE. A judgment, or judicial declaration made by a judge in a cause. The term judgment is more usually applied to civil, and sentence to criminal proceedings.
     2. Sentences are final, when they put, an end to the case; or interlocutory, when they settle only some incidental matter which has arisen in the course of its progress. Vide Aso & Man. Inst. B. 3, t. 8, c. 1.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mr Sentance said: "The UK economy continues to show healthy and sustained growth with GDP up by over 3% on a year ago.
Andrew Sentance became the firm's Senior Economic Adviser in November 2011 and was formerly an external member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.
A few weeks ago, markets saw a better-than-evens chance the MPC would raise rates on Thursday for the first time since 2007, and Sentance had been joined by BoE chief economist Spencer Dale and external MPC member Martin Weale in calling for a hike.
Sentance believes it is significantly more likely than not that inflation
Sentance is the most hawkish member of the MPC and the only one to have voted for increases in interest rates at recent MPC meetings.
Sentance -- who has unsuccessfully voted for a hike four months running -- also said that embarking on a gradual tightening of policy now would help to reduce the shock to confidence of an abrupt rise in interest rates later.
Sentance's misgivings about an accomodative policy has found any support amongst his peers.
Mr Sentance, who is appointed by the Chancellor, said: "I'm delighted to be in Newcastle taking the temperature of economic conditions in the North East."
Andrew Sentance, an ex-member of the monetary policy committee, told the Mirror: "The longer the Bank says it's not going to raise rates, the more risk they will go up sharply when they do." Record low rates have boosted the economy and home buyers but hammered savers.
Another former MPC member, Andrew Sentance falls into that camp.
The voting position of the nine-strong committee remained unchanged this month, with Andrew Sentance in favour of a 0.5% increase during his last meeting on the committee.