In many respects, sentencing represents the apex of the criminal process. The community looks to sentencing to affirm social values as well as to protect them from offenders who may represent a threat to public safety. Members of the public are keenly interested in the sentencing of offenders and hold strong opinions about individual cases. The high degree of public interest in the sentence imposed in a case helps to explain the intense media interest in the subject. Determining sentence represents one of the most challenging tasks confronting a judge.