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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 127901 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing Principles and Magistrates' Sentencing Behavior
Author(s): R J Henham
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 244
Sponsoring Agency: Gower Publishing Co Ltd
Aldershot, Hants GU11 3HR, England
Publication Number: ISBN 1-86528-000-4
Sale Source: Gower Publishing Co Ltd
Gower House, Croft Road,
Aldershot, Hants GU11 3HR,
United Kingdom
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Language: English
Country: United Kingdom
Annotation: This study examined the influence on magistrates' sentencing of the sentencing principles enunciated by the British Court of Appeal (Criminal Division) in the context of its case decisions.
Abstract: One study objective was to identify the means of communicating to magistrates sentencing principles derived from the Court of Appeal's decisions and to assess the impact of these means on sentencing. The study also sought to determine whether there is any relationship between magistrates' background characteristics and their sentencing objectives and the application of sentencing principles. Relevant data were collected primarily through personal interviews with magistrates in one English county at the time of the fieldwork (July 1981). Out of 165 magistrates, 149 were interviewed. Court clerks were also interviewed. The study found that sentencing principles enunciated by the Court of Appeal had negligible impact on magistrates' sentencing. This is apparently due to the failure of the Court of Appeal to provide a clear delineation of sentencing principles and how they are to be applied in various types of cases. The data did not show that the socioeconomic backgrounds of the magistrates influenced their sentencing objectives or the application of sentencing principles. Implications are drawn for policy and future research. Table of statutes, table of cases, tabular data, chapter references, a 300-item bibliography, and appended survey questionnaire
Main Term(s): Magistrates; Sentencing factors
Index Term(s): England; Judicial discretion
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