Sentencing

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  law@peterjepson.com
Sentencing
     • Ensure all mobiles are
           switched off
• Have your précis notes (Ch.8
 of „OCR Law for AS‟) to hand
 • Feel free to ask questions –
    just raise your hand first
         Role of the Courts

• Court decides what sentence should be
  imposed on the offender.
• The Judge or magistrates decide on an
  appropriate punishment in each case.
• What restrictions are they subject to when
  deciding on a suitable sentence?
        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?
          Aims of Sentencing
S.142 Criminal Justice Act 2003:

•   The punishment of offenders
•   The reduction of crime (inc. by deterrence)
•   Reform and rehabilitation of offenders
•   The protection of the public
•   Reparation by offenders to those affected by
    the crime
             Activity …

Read the article and answer the questions on
        page 87 of “OCR Law for AS”.
              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.
     What deters criminals?

• Being caught?
• A tough sentence?
• The reaction of family / friends?

• Theory assumes an offender will stop to
  consider consequences – but most crime is
  committed on the spur of the moment.
              Rehabilitation
                                        10
• 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.
               Activity…


Read the article on page 93 of “OCR Law for AS”
      and answer the questions following it.
         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.
• What reasons did the Sentencing Guidelines
  Council give for allowing reductions in
  sentences for guilty pleas?
• Do you agree with this concept?
         Types of Sentence
  Draw a chart with 3 columns showing…
1) the different types of sentence available
    2) an explanation of each sentence
      3) the aims of each sentence.
        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”.
        Custodial Sentences

• Range from intermittent (“weekend”) prison
  to life imprisonment.
• Can be unfair on D‟s family.
• Can be very difficult for D to re-integrate into
  society on release (job, housing etc.)
     Community Sentences

Criminal Justice Act 2003:
• Created one community order under which
  the court can combine any requirements it
  thinks are necessary.

• “Mix and match” approach to meet D‟s needs.
      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
• Civil orders that can be imposed where a
  person has behaved in an anti-social manner.

• Breaking an ASBO is a criminal matter and the
  offender can then be sentenced for the
  breach.
      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?
• Undertake the activity on page 100 of “OCR
  Law for AS”.
           Young Offenders

• At what age is a child criminally liable?

• Different sentences available for those under
  18, under 16, under 14 and under 12.

• Main aim is reformation and rehabilitation.
     Break into Law Firms…

 In your groups, prepare a presentation for the
                class, explaining…

• the sentences available for young offenders;
• which sentences you think are the best means
  of punishing young offenders and why.
          Exam Practice…


Carefully plan, and then write, an answer to the
    exam questions on p.101 of “OCR Law for
                       AS”.

				
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