Aims and factors of sentencing (S.142 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003…
Aims and factors of sentencing
S.142 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 states the judge must consider the following aims when passing sentence:
This means seeking revenge or punishment for Ds crime. The judge is only concerned with the offence committed by D and ensures the punishment reflects the crime, S.2(2) of the Criminal Justice Act 1991. The sentencing council provides tariffs for different offences
An individual deterrence is to put off D through fear of future punishment so he does not re offend. Such a sentence could be prison, suspended sentence, large fine. Individual deterrence is not very effective, with 55% of Ds re offending within 2 years
A general deterrence is directed at the general public with a view to putting them off committing crimes. How effective this is, debatable. The courts took this approach following the Riots in 2011 when people were looting shops. Relatively minor thefts were dealt with by custody to send a clear message about how seriously this was being taken.
Deterrence is seen as the least fair and effective aim of sentencing.
This means to try and change Ds behaviour to reform him and to stop him from re offending in the future. This aim needs to take account of Ds individual circumstances and is usually achieved by some form of community order.
4. Public Protection
This means D is sentenced to prevent him from harming the public. It applies particularly to crime of a violent or sexual nature where D is sentenced to life or a long term imprisonment. Under the Criminal Justice Act 2003, the courts must send D to prison where there is a significant risk to the public. For other offences, there are sentences such as being disqualified from driving for dangerous driving; having a curfew imposed for crimes such as night time burglaries; and exclusion orders to ban D from areas where he commits particular crimes such as football violence.
This means to give something back to V. It can be achieved by giving back to V through compensation being paid by D or giving back to the community through unpaid work.
This means society expressing its disapproval of criminal activity. This sentence will condemn Ds behaviour and achieve justice. It reinforces society's moral boundaries, e.g. the severe penalties now being given for drunk driving.
Aggravating & Mitigating factors
Aggravating and mitigating factors affect the sentence given to D by the judge. The courts have to look at how serious Ds offence was, S.143(1) Criminal Justice Act 2003
The Act states that certain factors of an offence are considered aggravating, and will make the judge pass a more severe sentence. Guidelines from the Sentencing Council give a starting point for each offence. The judge will then decide a harsher sentence based on the aggravating factors.
The 2003 Act states these are:
1. Ds previous convictions
2. D was on bail for another offence when they committed the first one
3. Hostility aimed at V due to race, religion, sexual exploitation
Other aggravating factors include: vulnerable victim, premeditated, verdict serving the public
Mitigating factors are those which may make the judge pass a more lenient sentence. D will receive one third off his sentence for an early guilty plea. Other mitigating factors include:
D has no previous convictions, D showing remorse, D co-operates with the police