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NCJ Number: 154301 Find in a Library
Title: Beyond Proportionate Punishment: Difficult Cases and the 1991 Criminal Justice Act
Journal: Crime, Law and Social Change  Volume:22  Issue:1  Dated:(1994-95)  Pages:59-78
Author(s): B A Hudson
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 20
Type: Conference Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Netherlands
Annotation: This analysis of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 in England and Wales focuses on the reasons for the rapid disillusionment with this approach to sentencing, with emphasis on some of the difficulties of proportionality in sentencing.
Abstract: The law was initially hailed as the most important piece of criminal justice legislation in England and Wales for many years. However, within 6 months of its implementation, the law was already being undermined in practice, and a new law, which amends or even reverses some of its more progressive principles, was brought before Parliament. Analysis of the practical problems of proportionality reveals that a penal rationale concerned only with proportionality cannot receive stable support, because corrections policies and practice cannot disregard the central purpose of criminal law, which is to reduce the incidence of behaviors designated as crimes. Thus, a more appropriate approach to sentencing would be to ensure that the nature of the penalty be such as to offer the best prospect of reducing future offending, while the amount of punishment should follow the principle of parsimony. This proposal includes the main values of just desert theory, but with criteria based on a more complex view of culpability than offered by this theory. Such an approach would enable penal policy to accomplish its limited role in crime reduction in a more effective, humane, and just way than at present. Reference notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): England; Foreign laws; Foreign sentencing; Sentencing reform; Wales
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