Al korchacha it seems that the punishment for a cheit is not like the sentence a judge issues to a criminal; the punishment for a cheit is a natural outgrowth of the cheit itself. To use halachic terms as an analogy, I would say the punishment for a cheit is a psik reisha – you can’t cut off the chicken’s head and get an outcome other than death, no matter if you didn’t intend to kill the chicken, because by definition cutting off a chicken’s head means killing it. By definition, “yom la’shana,” the punishment for one day of being in Eretz Yisrael for the sake of maligning the land results in a one year delay in entering the land. That is immutable; it’s an a priori rule. The amount of time it takes to travel the land can be extended or shortened without changing the definition of what “travel” is, but punishment and cheit are by definition one and the same thing.
The gemara (Chagigah 5) writes that when R’ Yochanan read the pasuk “V’haya ki timtzena oso ra’os rabos v’tzaros” he would cry. “What hope is there for a servant who is presented with great evils and sorrow?!” How does a person just “find” himself – “timtzena oso” – in a world of trouble? Aren’t those troubles the result of a sentence in the beis din shel ma’alah that a person can appeal or ask for mercy to temper? Again, we see from this gemara that punishment by definition goes hand in hand with the crime. It’s not some separate decree, but is a natural outcome of sin itself.