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What happens in a sentencing hearing? The case specifically…

What happens in a sentencing...
What happens in a sentencing hearing? The case specifically I'm wondering about is a sexual battery case, but maybe all sentencing hearings progress the same way.
Do the attorneys speak, then the defendant, then the victim (or their families), and then the judge renders a sentencing verdict?In my mind, that's what happens. I was just wondering if that's correct.
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Answered in 19 minutes by:
11/30/2017
RobertJDFL
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Good evening,

You've basically got the idea exactly. Sentencing hearings take place in open court, just as trials do. Normally, prior to the hearing itself, a pre-sentencing report with recommendations has been done, which the judge has, and will have reviewed. The district attorney, defendant, and defense counsel will all be present. The structure of the hearing is somewhat similar to a trial, with the state addressing the court first. The district attorney will speak directly to the judge, pointing out evidence from the trial/case and sentencing report to argue for a sentence the state deems appropriate. Next, defense counsel will address the court directly, pointing to his own evidence that supports the defendant’s proposed sentence.

Next, in cases in which there was a victim, like in a sexual battery, either the victim or the victim’s family will have the opportunity to make statements to the court. Sometimes, the victim will not be there in person but will have submitted a letter that the judge will read. Finally, the defendant will be allowed the last word for her- or himself. This may be the first and only time a defendant speaks in open court. After the defendant has spoken, the judge will announce the sentence. This is generally done directly following the presentations or after a very short recess

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