Presentation on theme: "Aims of Sentencing The judge / magistrates will have to decide what they are trying to achieve by the punishment they give. For example, should they simply."— Presentation transcript:
Aims of Sentencing The judge / magistrates will have to decide what they are trying to achieve by the punishment they give. For example, should they simply punish D for what he’s done, or should they try and alter his future behaviour?
Retribution “An eye for an eye…..” Based on the idea of punishment because the offender deserves it. No attempt to alter D’s future behaviour. What types of sentences do you think achieve this aim?
Denunciation Society expressing its disapproval of criminal behaviour. Can influence society’s views on what is acceptable / unacceptable conduct. Examples: drink driving; enhanced sentencing for racist crime.
Incapacitation Offender is made incapable of re-offending. Can be a short-term solution, however, depending on the sentence. Think of some examples of sentences that reflect this aim of sentencing.
Deterrence Aimed at reducing future levels of crime. Individual – to deter D from re-offending. General- to deter other potential offenders from committing crimes. Idea is to give a harsh punishment, e.g. prison sentence or heavy fine.
Rehabilitation Main aim is to reform the offender so that they do not re-offend in the future. Usually involves community sentences. Criticisms: Often discriminates against the underprivileged. Leads to inconsistency in sentencing.
Reparation Aimed at compensating the victim of the crime. Based on idea that criminals should pay compensation to their victims. S.130 Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000 says courts are under a duty to give reasons if they do not make a compensation order.
Sentencing Practice Before passing sentence, the court will consider: Any aggravating / mitigating factors Pre-sentence reports (Probation service) Any previous convictions Medical Reports Character Statements D’s financial / domestic circumstances
Pleading Guilty Reduction in sentence for a guilty plea. Why do you think that the Sentencing Guidelines Council encourages reductions in sentences for guilty pleas? Do you agree with this concept?
Types of Sentence In pairs, suggest a suitable sentence for the following 3 offenders:
Offender 1 Saj is a 14 year old car thief, he has been in and out of young offenders’ institutions for offences relating to theft. Previous sentences have meant that his knowledge of crime has increased, resulting in him committing more crimes. He is due to be sentenced again for a further car theft.
Offender 2 David has been in prison for the last 14 years following a conviction for armed robbery. Whilst in prison he obtained a degree, and wishes to become a journalist. After leaving prison he has a job offer, however he is now in court for theft. If he receives a further custodial sentence he will be unable to pursue his chosen career. There are economic factors which have led to his re-offending.
Offender 3 Katie, a single mother of 2 young children, has been convicted of criminal damage, amounting to £1000. She pleaded guilty and has no previous convictions.
Custodial Sentences S.152 Criminal Justice Act 2003: Court must not pass a custodial sentence unless it is of the opinion that the offence was… “… so serious that neither a fine alone nor a community sentence can be justified”.
Community Sentences s.177 Criminal Justice Act 2003 includes: Unpaid work requirement Curfew requirement Exclusion requirement Supervision requirement Drug rehabilitation requirement
Fines Sum payable to the Crown – not compensation for the victim. Most common sentence in Magistrates’ Court. “Rich man, poor man” problems. What happens if D cannot pay?
Discharges and other orders… Conditional discharge – often used for first- time minor offenders. Absolute discharge Disqualification from driving Compensation order
Anti-Social Behaviour Orders These are civil orders that can be imposed where a person has behaved in an anti-social manner. Do ASBOs still exist? Should ASBOs still exist?
Answer the following questions… Consider what alternatives a judge has to sending a person convicted of an offence to prison. Why should the judge wish to do this? What types of sentences are most likely to be given in (a) Magistrates’ Courts and (b) Crown Courts?