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Sentencing A declaration, or decision, by a Court of Law to punish a convicted criminal.

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Presentation on theme: "Sentencing A declaration, or decision, by a Court of Law to punish a convicted criminal."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sentencing A declaration, or decision, by a Court of Law to punish a convicted criminal.

2 Theories of Punishment 1. Revenge / Retribution Based on the idea of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” A person must pay for their crime.

3 Theories of Punishment 2. Deterrence Punishment should be sufficient to prevent a person from repeating the same offence.

4 Theories of Punishment 3. Protection or Segregation Isolate an offender so that society will be protected from further acts of violence.

5 Theories of Punishment 4. Rehabilitation / Resocialization Provide a means by which an offender can be restored to a useful, productive citizen in society.

6 Charter of Rights and Freedoms Section 12: Everyone has the right not to be subjected to any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment.

7 Debate Which of the four theories – Revenge/Retribution, Deterrence, Protection or Segregation, Rehabilitation/Resocialization – is the most effective? Which is the least effective? Can any of these theories be combined? Do any of these theories violate the Charter of Rights and Freedoms? Explain and justify your responses.

8 Deciding on a Punishment

9 Sentencing is a difficult job for a Judge. There is much at stake. Safety of society Freedom of the offender Economic well being of offender’s family The desire of the victim, or the victim’s family.

10 The Judge tries to find out as much about the offender and the crime as possible. The Judge makes use of a pre-sentence report which is prepared by a Probation Officer.

11 A Pre-Sentence Report Is prepared by a Probation Officer when asked by “The Court” prior to sentencing of a person found guilty of a crime.

12 A Pre-Sentence Report The Probation Officer researches a convicted person’s background in a number of areas that include … Charges, lawyers, Judge, etc. Personal data (address, etc.) Court information Previous criminal record Education Employment Assessment (physical, emotional, psychiatric, etc.)

13 A Pre-Sentence Report The Probation Officer also provides his/her assessment of the convicted person. All of these factors – including other factors relating to the offence committed – are considered by the Judge prior to sentencing.

14 Sentencing Factors The Federal government set up the Canadian Sentencing Commission to make recommendations that would improve sentencing. The following is a list of factors which Judges take into consideration when Sentencing:

15 Number of victims Number of incidents Was the offender young or elderly? Was the offender physically or mentally impaired? The offence involved actual, or threatened, violence; or the actual use of a weapon or an imitation weapon. The offender has previous convictions. The offender was excessively cruel to the victim.

16 The victim provoked the violence. The offender has made restitution to the victim. The victim was vulnerable due to age, infirmity, etc. The offender played a relatively minor role in the offence. The offence was planned, or part of a criminal activity

17 The offence was a breach of trust. That is, a person in a trusted position used that position to take advantage of the victim. The offender was under stress. The victim suffered substantial financial loss.

18 These factors can be divided into two categories: Aggravating Factors: Things that would increase the sentence. Mitigating Factors: Things that would decrease the sentence.

19 Sentencing Options

20 Types of Sentencing Sentencing does not always mean imprisonment. Due to the high cost of maintaining the prison system, diversion programs are increasing. They cost less than imprisonment Prevent the accused from socializing with other convicts. Allow accused to repay society in a meaningful way.

21 Rates of Incarceration, 2000 CountryRate for every citizens United States699 New Zealand149 Britain and Wales124 Canada118 Germany97 France89 Denmark61 Finland57

22 Absolute or Conditional Discharge If sentence is less than 14 years and carries no minimum sentence, an absolute or conditional discharge may be assigned. Usually assigned for first time offenders or when media exposure has been so severe that it has been a penalty itself.

23 Absolute Discharge A sentence in which, while the offender is found guilty, no conviction is recorded and the offender is free to go without conditions.

24 Conditional Discharge A sentence in which, the offender is found guilty, no conviction is recorded and the offender is free to go ….. BUT, must meet certain expectations (probation orders) in order to avoid a criminal record.

25 Restitution or Compensation Something given to make amends for a loss (e.g. damages to an injured party)

26 Community Service Order A sentencing option in which the Judge demands the offender does some specific work in the community, under supervision.

27 Suspensions A sentence that removes a privilege, such as driving or attending school.

28 Probation A sentence that allows the offender provisional freedom rather than imprisonment. Requires good behaviour and other conditions the Judge imposes; common for first time offenders.

29 Deportation To be expelled to one’s country of origin. Common if someone is declared to be an illegal immigrant.

30 Fines If the penalty for an offence is five years or less, the offender may – in some cases – pay a monetary fine instead of going to prison. The Judge establishes the amount of the fine

31 Imprisonment If the prison sentence is 30 days or less, the offender is usually kept at the local detention centre. If the sentence is more than 30 days, but less than two years, the offender is placed in a provincial prison or reformatory. If the sentence is two years or more, the offender is sent to a federal institution – penitentiary.


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