Sentencing Notes

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Judges have discretion as to what sentences they choose to impose on offenders. Under Criminal Justice Act 2003, they must consider the aims of the sentencing in relation to the particular offence and the particular offender:


The aims of sentencing is set out below:

  1. Protection of public
  2. Punishment of offender
  3. Compensation to the victim
  4. Reduction of Crime(deterrence)
  5. Reform and rehabilitation of the offender

The punishment of offender is based on the principle of retribution which states that the offender deserves to receive a punishment that is in proportion to his crime. This applies the mentality of ‘an eye for an eye’ and ensures that the offender pays for his offence. This justifies the death penalty for cases such as manslaughter. It does not aim to reform or rehabilitate the offender and merely satisfies a sense of revenge for the victims. It contains the principle of denunciation which reflects societal disapproval at the offender’s act. Example of punishment may include imprisonment, community sentences or fines.

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 Denunciation was previously an aim of the sentencing but this has changes over the years. Tariff Sentences are guidelines used to set what offences and the range of the sentence that is appropriate for certain crimes.

Protection of public is an aim that aims to protect the public from the offender’s future crimes. It may be by way of making the offender incapable to recommit such as imposing exclusion orders or curfew requirements, sentencing the offender to jail or even reform the offender. By placing an offender in custody, they are prevented from committing future offences. While this has ...

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