Essay on Legal: Criminal Law and Relevant Sentencing Law

Submitted By kaylaleesimpson
Words: 914
Pages: 4

The purposes of punishment 4/2/2013
Discouraging people from committing future offences.
Reforming offenders so that they will be less likely to re-offend.
Revenge or paying back offenders.
Making offenders incapable of committing further crimes.

Deterrence can be both specific and general. Specific deterrence refers to discouraging a particular individual from committing crimes in the future, while general deterrence aims to discourage other people. They see that someone was punished for breaking the law, and will hopefully be deter from committing that crime themselves
The goals in the diagram on the previous page coexist and are reflected in most sentences to some degree. However, different ideas and theories dominate at different times. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, for example, rehabilitation was one of the main goals of sentencing. The focus now has shifted towards incapacitation, with the aim of protecting society. When shocking crimes occur, such as mass murder or serial killings, members of society often call for retribution.

Factors affecting a sentencing decision: aggravating and mitigating circumstances
“Sentencing Booklet P5-7” 1. What factors must be taken into account when determining a sentence? * the facts of the offence; * the circumstances of the offence; * subjective factors about the offender; and * relevant sentencing law

2. What are some of the aggravating factors that can be taken into account? * The victim. E.g. Police officer * The offence involved * If the offender
-Has a record of previous convictions;
-Abused a position of trust or authority in relation to the victim. 3. What are some mitigating factors? * The offence was not part of a planned or organized criminal activity. * The offender:
-was provoked by the victim;
-was acting under duress;
-does not have any record
-was a person of good character;
-is unlikely to re-offend
-has good prospects of rehabilitation;
-has shown remorse
-was not fully aware of the consequences of his or her actions because of his or her g o any disability
-provided assistance to law enforcement authorities;
-pleaded guilty * The injury, emotional harm, loss or damage caused y the offence was not substantial.

4. What effect do aggravating and mitigating factors have on the sentencing decision?
An aggravating factor can increase the potential sentence, whereas mitigating factors can reduce it. 5. What is the difference between serving a sentence concurrently or cumulatively?
Concurrent sentences commence at the same time as each other and run at the same time. Cumulative sentences run consecutively, that is, one after another.

The role of the victim
‘Sentencing Book P7’ 1. Is the victim allowed to be present at a sentencing hearing?
2. What is a victim impact statement?
A victim impact statement is a written statement that describes the impact of a crime upon a victim or a victim’s family member. 3. Who can make a victim impact statement and what are they used for?
A victim impact statement can be made: * By a victim who has suffered personal harm as a direct result of an offence. * A family member of a primary victim who has died as a result of the offence.

Types of Penalties
Nowadays, imprisonment is the most severe type of punishment inflicted by Australian law. Corporal punishment, such as whipping, was used in colonial days, and the last instance of capital punishment in Australia took pace in 1967.

Page 78-84 text book

Type of penalties | Description of penalty | No Conviction | |