Law As Level - Concept of Liability

These notes are on the sub-topic within the topic of concept of liability: Sentencing options and aims of sentencing. It is usually asked as an 8 mark question in the AQA paper, such as: 'Outline the range of sentences available to the court if Kai were to be convicted of any offence.' (8 marks)

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  • Created by: Zai Has
  • Created on: 23-04-12 13:36

What are the different sentencing options that can

Sentencing options:

1. Imprisonment: this is supposed to be considered the last option for the jugde. There is a suspended sentence, which is when the court passes a sentence of prison buyt defendant does not go to prison. The sentence can be suspended for up to 2 years. They will not enter prison provided no crimes are committed.

2. Community Punishment order (aka community service): this is when the defendant does unpain work in the community for a set number of hours a week. The typs of work can be clearing graffiti, weeding public spaces. It is usually done on the weekends so that it does not interfere with work. It is between 40-300 hours in 8 hour shifts over a maximum of 3 years

3. Curfew and tagging: under the curfew order, the offender has to be at home during specified hours. These are usually night time but can be during the day to prevent attendance at particular events, for example, football matches. The offender can be tagged for up 2 - 12 hours in every 24 hours.

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4. Community Rehabilitation order (aka probation): offender has to report to probation officer once a week. The idea is that the probation officer will stop the defendant from reoffending by giving help on jobs, living accomodation. It can be between 6 months to 3 years.

5. Fines

6. Order to attend drugs/drink programme

7. Court can make community order which is a mix and match ~ can combine the different sentencing options

8. Absolute discharge: technically convicted but no penalty imposed by court

9. Conditional discharge: no penalty provided no further crimes committed within a certain period of time.

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Aims of sentencing

There are several aims of sentencing:

1. Retribution: the idea that the criminal must pay the price demanded by society for the crime they have carried out. The price demanded has to be fair or there will be injustice.

2. Deterrence: there are two types a) Individual deterrence - defendant given a sentence to ensure that they do not commit the crime again. b) General deterrence - a sentence is set to one person to ensure other people do not commit the same crime.

3. Reform: a sentence is passed to help offender so that in the future they do not want to carry out further crimes.

4. Public safety: a sentence is passed to ensure the offender does not pose a risk to the public.

5. Denunciation: a sentence is passed to demonstrate that society particularly disapproves of a particular crime.

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