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Although these punishments do not meet the high bar of "cruel and unusual punishment" as defined in the Furman v. Georgia decision, there is still the issue that judges are generally expected to act in an orthodox way.

For punishment to be an effective and fair deterrent, it must be predictable. In much the same way as judges in common law courts follow precedent in interpreting law, they follow sentencing trends in determining sentences. Additionally, their decisions are subject to the judgement of higher courts (appellate courts; Supreme Court).

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