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NCJ Number: 50325 Find in a Library
Title: FACT-FINDING FOR SENTENCERS (FROM AUSTRALIAN JUSTICE SYSTEM, 2D ED., 1977, BY DUNCAN CHAPPELL AND PAUL WILSON - SEE NCJ-50316)
Author(s): R G FOX; B M O'BRIEN
Corporate Author: Butterworth
Canada
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 39
Sponsoring Agency: Butterworth
Scarborough, Ontario M1P 451, Canada
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: FACTS TO BE CONSIDERED AND PROCEDURES FOLLOWED IN SENTENCING DECISIONMAKING ARE DISCUSSED.
Abstract: MAJOR TOPICS CONSIDERED ARE: FACTS RELATING TO THE OFFENSE, WHICH INCLUDES DISCUSSIONS ABOUT INTERPRETING THE JURY'S VERDICT AND FINDING THE FACTS ABOUT THE OFFENSE ON A PLEA OF GUILTY; AND FACTS RELATING TO THE OFFENDER, WHICH DEALS WITH PRIOR CONVICTIONS, ALLEGATIONS OF OTHER CRIMINALITY, AND PRESENTENCE REPORTS. OTHER FACTS CONSIDERED, WHICH ARE NOT DIRECTLY RELATED TO THE OFFENDER OR HIS OFFENSE BUT MAY BE RELEVANT AT SENTENCING, ARE PREVALENCE AND NATURE OF THE CRIME, POLICIES REGARDING REMISSIONS OR PAROLE, AND AVAILABILITY OF SERVICES. IT IS NOTED THAT THE EVOLUTION OF THE ACCUSED'S RIGHT TO GIVE EVIDENCE ON HIS OWN BEHALF AT THE ADJUDICATORY STAGE OF THE CRIMINAL TRIAL HAS BEEN ACCOMPANIED BY A SLOWER BUT CONTINUING CLARIFICATION OF HIS RIGHT TO CHALLENGE OR ADDUCE EVIDENCE AT THE DISPOSITIONAL STAGE. AT ONE EXTREME IS THE VIEW THAT, WITHIN THE CONFINES OF THE VERDICT OR PLEA OF GUILTY, THE SENTENCER SHOULD BE FREE TO FORM HIS OWN OPINION AND USE INFORMATION FROM ANY SOURCE WITHOUT HAVING IT TESTED UNDER OATH OR, IN SOME CASES, REVEALED TO THE DEFENDANT. ON THE OTHER HAND, THERE IS THE ATTITUDE THAT, NOT ONLY IS THE ACCUSED ENTITLED TO A HEARING AND THE BENEFIT OF ANY REASONBLE DOUBT IN RESPECT OF DISPUTED MATTERS OF AGGRAVATION OR MITIGATION, BUT ALSO THAT THE JUDGE'S SENTENCING DISCRETION SHOULD BE EXERCISED ONLY ON INFORMATION DERIVED FROM THE SWORN TESTIMONY OF WITNESSES EXAMINED IN OPEN COURT. THE COMPROMISE WHICH THE AUSTRALIAN COURTS HAVE DEVISED, AND WHICH IS BROADLY EXPRESSED IN THE TASMANIAN CRIMINAL CODE, ALLOWS FREE ADMISSIBILITY SO THAT SENTENCING INFORMATION CAN BE RECEIVED BY THE COURT WITHOUT THE EVIDENTIARY RESTRICTIONS WHICH OPERATE AT THE ADJUDICATORY STAGE, COUPLED WITH NOTICE TO THE DEFENDANT SO HE MIGHT HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO CHALLENGE AND REBUT THE INFORMATION SO RECEIVED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Australia; Decisionmaking; Presentence investigations; Rights at sentencing; Sentencing/Sanctions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50325

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