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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 50752 Find in a Library
Title: HABITUAL OFFENDER PROSECUTIONS IN NEW JERSEY
Journal: CRIMINAL JUSTICE QUARTERLY  Volume:6  Issue:2  Dated:(SPRING 1978)  Pages:83-93
Author(s): A G FREDERICKS
Corporate Author: New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 11
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice
Princeton, NJ 08540
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: MODIFICATIONS TO THE HABITUAL OFFENDER ACT IN NEW JERSEY ARE EXPLORED WITH REGARD TO DELINEATING THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PROSECUTORS AND THE COURT SYSTEM IN RECIDIVIST SENTENCING.
Abstract: THE HABITUAL OFFENDER ACT CAN BE APPLIED IN A LARGE NUMBER OF CRIMINAL PROSECUTIONS AND THUS CAN PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN ESTABLISHING THE LENGTH OF A CONVICTED DEFENDANT'S SENTENCE. THE STATUTE, HOWEVER, IS INVOKED RARELY BY PROSECUTORS AND THE COURTS. IT PROVIDES FOR INCREASED PUNISHMENT OF PERSONS CONVICTED OF A MISDEMEANOR OR A HIGH MISDEMEANOR IF THOSE PERSONS HAVE BEEN CONVICTED OF A HIGH MISDEMEANOR ON ONE OR MORE PRIOR OCCASIONS. HABITUAL OFFENDER LEGISLATION IN NEW JERSEY AND IN OTHER JURISDICTIONS HAS BEEN CHALLENGED ON NUMEROUS GROUNDS BUT GENERALLY WITHOUT SUCCESS. THE JUSTIFICATION STATES THAT HABITUAL OFFENDER STATUTES DO NOT UNDERTAKE TO PUNISH AGAIN FOR PRIOR OFFENSES; RATHER, THEY INCREASE PUNISHMENT FOR A SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE. ACCORDING TO PROCEDURES FOR INVOKING THE HABITUAL OFFENDER ACT IN NEW JERSEY, INCREASED PUNISHMENT MAY BE IMPOSED AT THE COURT'S DISCRETION. BEFORE THE COURT ORDERS THE FILING OF A MULTIPLE OFFENDER ACCUSATION AND BEFORE THE PROSECUTION COMPLIES WITH SUCH AN ORDER, CARE SHOULD BE TAKEN TO INSURE THAT A DEFENDANT'S PRIOR CONVICTIONS ARE SUFFICIENT IN NUMBER AND CHARACTER TO PERMIT INVOCATION OF THE HABITUAL OFFENDER LAW. SPECIAL CARE ALSO SHOULD BE TAKEN TO ASCERTAIN WITH CERTAINTY THAT A DEFENDANT IS THE PARTY AGAINST WHOM PRIOR CONVICTIONS WERE OBTAINED. BEFORE THE HABITUAL OFFENDER ACT IS MODIFIED, A LEGISLATIVE DETERMINATION SHOULD BE MADE CONCERNING CRIMINAL SENTENCING IN GENERAL AND PURPOSES AND GOALS OF A MULTIPLE OFFENDER LAW. DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES OF PROSECUTORS AND THE COURT SYSTEM WITH RESPECT TO RECIDIVISM SENTENCING SHOULD BE ESTABLISHED AND DELINEATED CLEARLY. (DEP)
Index Term(s): Habitual offenders; Judicial discretion; New Jersey; Recidivists; Sentencing/Sanctions; State laws
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=50752

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