Unit 2 | Sentencing (AQA)

Procedure, aims and options

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  • Created on: 26-04-12 13:33
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Sentencing
Aims of;
The overall aim is justice and to achieve this, consistency is necessary, e.g. a tariff system is applied
for minimum and maximum sentence guidelines (maximum sentence for GBH s.20 is 5 years
imprisonment).
Retribution
This is the revenge element; to punish. The ultimate form of this is the death penalty, or in England,
life imprisonment.
Deterrence
This is to discourage the offender from reoffending, and to discourage new offenders from
offending at all, e.g. a long custodial sentence, showing young offenders around a prison and strict
liability.
Protecting society
This is for violent offenders and sexual offenders as they may need to be kept off the street for the
protection of the public, e.g. a custodial sentence
Rehabilitation
This refers to attempting to attempts to `cure' the offender by changing their behaviour. The aim
here is to remove the cause, e.g. alcohol / drugs, anger management, education to give job
prospects.
Some argue that rehabilitation is more effective if it can be made to work, because concentration on
retribution and deterrence leads to long prison sentences. These can encourage reoffending
because it may be difficult to get a job upon release. Prisons are sometimes referred to as
`universities of crime', e.g. an offender goes to prison for something petit, but comes out and
commits more serious crime.
Types of sentence
1. Custodial
This is a term of imprisonment
A tariff system is applied (sentencing guidlines for minimum and maximum sentence) but the
full term may not be served
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
This is non-custodial
Can be unpaid work up to 300 hours
Can be a curfew, e.g. restrictions on when the offender has to be at home, often involves
electronic tagging
Exclusions from an area or a requirement on where the offender must live
Supervision order, e.g. reporting to the probation service
Drug or alcohol restriction, including regular testing

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Financial
e.g. fines
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
5. Restorative justice
This aims to rehabilitate the offender by making them face up to their crime
e.g.…read more

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Procedure to trial ­ criminal
Types of offences / courts;
Summary - Magistrates' court (3 magistrates)
e.g. assault or battery
Triable either way - Magistrates' court or Crown court
e.g. theft, ABH, GBH s.20
Indictable - Crown court (judge + jury)
e.g. GBH s.…read more

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Bail
All defendants have the right to be considered for bail under the Bail Act 1976. Bail can be granted
by the police where the defendant will be required to report to the police station, or by the
magistrates will grant court bail, requiring the defendant to turn up to the court hearing.
Refusing bail requires the defendant to be remanded in custody.…read more

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Burden of proof and standard of proof
The burden of proof rests with the prosecution, so the prosecution have to prove that the defendant
is guilty; the defendant is innocent until proven guilty.
The standard of proof for criminal cases is `beyond reasonable doubt' ­ so not absolute certainty, but
certain enough to rely and act upon it without hesitation in the most important of your life affairs.…read more

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