Sentencing

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  • Created on: 03-02-14 19:22
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Sentencing
There are a number of different types of sentencing available to judges:
1. Custodial (imprisonment)
a) A tariff system is applied but the full term may not be served
b) Prison sentences can be suspended, e.g. 1 year sentence suspended for 18 months. This means
that the 1 year sentence is not served unless the offender commits another crime within the 18
months
2. Community sentence (noncustodial)
a) Can be a Community Punishment Order (40300 hours of unpaid work, usually in 8 hour shifts at
weekends)
b) Can be a curfew (staying at home for between 212 hours in every 24) often involving electronic
tagging, exclusions from an area or a requirement on where the offender must live.
c) Can be Community Supervision Order An offender is placed under the supervision of a probation
officer for up to three years
3. Financial
Compensation order (giving payment to the victim)
4. Discharge
a) Absolute discharge ­ meaning the offence goes on the offenders record, but no further action is
taken
b) Conditional discharge ­ goes on the offenders record but no other sentence is given unless the
offender reoffends within a time period
In deciding on the sentence the judge would first listen to a plea in mitigation by the Defendant's lawyer.
He would then consider all aggravating and mitigating factors before sentencing. Mitigating factors
reduce sentence while aggravating factors increase sentence.
Mitigating factors would be: Aggravating factors would be:
Provocation Violence
The age of the defendant Racial motivation for crime
First offence Previous convictions
Pleading guilty Drink and drugs
The judge would then look at the history of previous convictions and would have to seek a
PreSentencing report if considering imprisonment or a Community Punishment Order.
In some cases there may be a Victim Impact statement.
In deciding on sentence the judge under the Criminal Justice Act 2003 must consider the aims of
sentencing:
1. Retribution the revenge element to punish. In the UK the ultimate form of this is life imprisonment.
2. Rehabilitation attempts to `cure' the offender by changing their behaviour. The aim here is to
remove the cause.
3. General and Individual Deterrence to discourage the offender from reoffending, and o discourage
new offenders from offending at all.
4. Public Safety based on the need to keep violent and sexual offenders off the streets fo the
protection of the public.

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