Essay on The Purposes of Sentencing

Essay on The Purposes of Sentencing

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The main purpose of the sentencing is to protect the public and to ensure that justice is done. The purpose of sentencing for those 18 and over is defined by section 142 (1) Criminal Justice Act 2003
"Any court dealing with an offender in respect of his offense must have regard to the following purposes of sentencing" retribution, denunciation, incapacitation, deterrence, rehabilitation and reparation which will all be discussed in this essay.

One of the oldest justifications for punishment involves the principles of retribution. Retribution (1900-1905) refers to an idea that offenders should be punished for committing a crime, but would not punish someone who was forced to commit a cri-me, i.e. duress. It can be sometimes be viewed as a ‘revenge’ or ‘an eye for an eye‘. It is based on the principle of “let the punishment fit the crime”. This aim does not reducing crime or changing the offenders future behaviour. Punishment is provided through imprisonment and in some cases a fine may be given.However, giving a fine could in effect cause a prison sentence for the person who may not be able to pay.
This aim is based on the tariff sentence, e.g. for rape is seven years imprisonment, however, the rape of the child would increase the sentence. This is one of the aggravating factors as well as the weapon used, an intention to cause serious bodily harm, violence or a hate crime. e.g. R v Blake [1962] QBD George Blake, a spy, was given 42 year prison sentence . ‘ Aggravating Factors are any relevant circumstances, supported by the evidence presented during the trial, that makes the harshest penalty appropriate, in the judgment of...


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... property. Under s130 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (sentencing) Act 2000 the courts must give a reason if they do not want to give a compensation order. To make reparation to society, community order unpaid work is given where offenders must work on a community project under the supervision of the probation service. Denunciation, the last aim of sentencing, is forcing the government to get tough on crime e.g. terrorism, paedophilia or drink driving where the court having the power to disqualify a person from driving for a minimum 12 months. Those crimes must be taken seriously and the offender should be punished because this is not a tolerate behaviour e.g. minimum of 7 years imprisonment for rape. The ideas of retribution and denunciation were produced by the Criminal Justice Act 1991 which is based on the Government White Paper on Crime and Punishment (1990).

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