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Role of the Courts • Court decides what sentence should be imposed on the offender. • The Judge or magistrates decide on an PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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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

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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?


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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?


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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


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Activity …

Read the article and answer the questions on page 205 of “OCR Law for AS”.


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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?


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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Activity…

Read the article on page 212 of “OCR Law for AS” and answer the questions following it.


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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


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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?


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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


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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”.


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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.)


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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


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Community Sentences

s.177 Criminal Justice Act 2003 includes:

• Unpaid work requirement

• Curfew requirement

• Exclusion requirement

• Supervision requirement

• Drug rehabilitation requirement


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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?


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Discharges and other orders…

• Conditional discharge – often used for first time

minor offenders.

• Absolute discharge

• Disqualification from driving

• Compensation order


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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.


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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


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