Sentencing

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  • Created by: serish
  • Created on: 26-05-12 18:35

Sentencing

Restrictions of the Courts Powers:

  • Some discretion but 4 MC + CC, restrictions bcz some crimes have max penalty 4 that offence e.g. theft = 7 years imprisonment (doesn't matter how much was stolen. Offences like murder(mandatory life sentence) , manslaughter + **** have max sentence of life imprisonment, up 2 judge 2 decide what 2 give

Aims of sentencing:

  • When judge/M pass sentence, don't only look at sentence available but they also decide what they are trying 2 achieve by given punishment. S.142 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 sets out purposes of sentencing 4 offenders 18+. 6 aims court must have regard 2 18's:
  •  RETRIBUTION (punishment): Aim- based on idea punishment offender deserves 4 their wrongdoing, way 4 society 2 show disapproval + anger at offence by giving revenge 4 it. Inflicted punishment has 2 be in proportion 2 offence (tariff sentences)
  • DETERRENCE:  aimed at reducing future levels of crime. 2 types: INDIVIDUAL intended offender doesn't re-offend through fear of future punishment e.g. through a suspended prison sentence, whereas GENERAL is aimed at preventing other potential offenders from committing crimes in society by imposing extensive sentences which are harsher than usual e.g. like the sentences imposed 4 the August 2011 rioters
  • REHABILITATION: hopes 2 reduce crime but by trying 2 reform offenders behaviour so won't re-offend in future (long term solution). Court imposes individualised sentences aimed at need of offender e.g. drugs addict would be put on Drugs Intervention Programme DIP whereas somebody else could be given a community sentence
  • PUBLIC PROTECTION: happens under Criminal Justice Act 2003. Protection of society often overriding consideration e.g. in R v Brewster 1980 CA a professional criminal had 2 be locked up for a substantial period because he was seen as a danger 2 the public
  • REPARATION: aimed at making offender repay the victim of crime (through compensation) or community (through unpaid work)
  • DENUNCIATION: where society expressing disapproval of criminal activities. Reinforces moral boundaries of acceptable conduct in society

Sentencing Practice in the Courts:

  • Factors surrounding offence: S.143(1) of Criminal Justice Act 2003 sets out factors which are taken into account when sentencing individual. When considering seriousness of offence, offender's culpability in committing offence + any harm which was caused/intended/might have caused have 2 be considered
  • AGGRAVATING factors make offence more serious, higher sentence       e.g. --> previous convictions 4 offences with similar nature/if defendant was on bail --> if offence was carried out through racial/religious hostility or bcz of victims sex/disability 
  • MITIGATING factors = any evidence presented regarding D's character/circumstances of crime, which result in lesser sentence e.g. existence of special circumstances  , the age of D at time of crime -->

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