عنوان مقاله [English]
Sentencing is an important phase of criminal process in a scrutinized and purposeful criminal justice and one of the controversial objects in this respect is the optimal level of judicial discretion. By and large, there are two approaches at issue in this matter. First approach, broadly taken in Iranian criminal justice system, is giving the judges a wide discretion to weigh the circumstances of each case and choosing the best punishment for the perpetrator. This approach is based on the idea that the criminal judge has a great ability in knowing the characteristics of the crime and the offender and in identifying the best reaction toward her. So, he must have a wide discretionary power to personalize the criminal reaction and rehabilitate the offender. But there have been many criticisms to this approach, theoretically and practically. So, another approach has been put forward which is based on a predefined model, called sentencing guidelines. This approach, first taken in United Sates in 1980s, is currently being implemented in many countries. Enhancing the transparency of the sentencing, promoting public confidence in criminal justice system, fastening the sentencing phase of criminal process and increasing the deterrent function of punishment by increasing its certainty, are some of the benefits of this approach.