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NCJ Number: 51689 Find in a Library
Title: SENTENCING AND CURRENT ALTERNATIVES (FROM MAGISTRATES' COURT 1976 - WHAT PROGRESS? CANBERRA, (AUSTRALIA), 26-28 NOVEMBER, 1976, 1978, SEE NCJ-51685)
Author(s): R MILLER
Corporate Author: Australian Institute of Criminology
Australia
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 15
Sponsoring Agency: Australian Institute of Criminology
Canberra ACT, 2601, Australia
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: VARIOUS JUDICIAL DECISIONS WITH REFERENCE TO SENTENCING ARE CITED IN A DISCUSSION OF DISCRETION IN SENTENCING, AND THE PURPOSES OF VARIOUS SENTENCING ALTERNATIVES ARE CONSIDERED.
Abstract: IT IS NOTED THAT THE ROLE OF THE MAGISTRATE IN THE CRIMINAL SPHERE IS INCREASING, AS HE IS BEING GIVEN JURISDICTION TO SENTENCE IN CASES WHERE PREVIOUSLY JUDGES ALONE HAD THAT RESPONSIBILITY. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF MURDER AND A FEW OTHER CRIMES, IT IS INDICATED THAT A MAXIMUM SENTENCE IS SET BY LAW, AND THE SENTENCING TRIBUNAL IS GIVEN THE DISCRETION TO SET THE PENALTY WITHIN THE LEGISLATIVE PARAMETERS. THE BASIC PURPOSE OF PUNISHMENT IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE REMAINED UNALTERED: THE PROTECTION OF SOCIETY AGAINST THOSE WHO VIOLATE THE LAW. IT IS BELIEVED TO BE THE TASK OF THE SENTENCING TRIBUNAL TO EXAMINE THE PERSONALITY OF THE OFFENDER IN RELATION TO THE OFFENSE HE HAS COMMITTED, WEIGH THE VARIOUS THEORIES OF PUNISHMENT, AND THEN DECIDE ON THE BEST WAY OF DISPOSING OF THE CASE IN THE INTERESTS OF SOCIETY. THE DISPOSITION SHOULD ONLY INCIDENTALLY COINCIDE WITH THE INTERESTS OF THE OFFENDER. CASE DECISIONS ARE CITED WHERE FIRST OFFENDERS FROM APPARENTLY STABLE AND RESPECTABLE FAMILY BACKGROUNDS ARE GIVEN PRISON SENTENCES IN CASES WHERE THEIR OFFENCE WAS PREVALENT IN SOCIETY AND A DETERRENT FACTOR WAS THEREFORE BELIEVED NEEDED. WHILE REHABILITATION AND TREATMENT IS DEEMED AN APPROPRIATE PRIORITY FOR YOUTH AND THOSE WHO SHOW MOTIVATION TOWARD CHANGE, PERSONS WHO WILLFULLY COMMIT CRIMES OR WHO ARE JUDGED GUILTY OF PARTICULARLY HEINOUS OFFENSES SHOULD RECEIVE SENTENCES DESIGNED TO PROVIDE DETERRENCE AND RETRIBUTION. A FINE IS NOT CONSIDERED APPROPRIATE AS A REHABILITATIVE MECHANISM, BUT SHOULD BE EMPLOYED IN SUFFICIENT PROPORTIONS WHEN DETERRENCE IS THE AIM OF THE SENTENCE. THE ISSUE OF WHETHER OR NOT TO IMPOSE A FINE IN AN AMOUNT PROPORTIONATE TO THE OFFENDER'S ABILITY TO PAY IS CONSIDERED. ISSUES RAISED BY CONFERENCE MEMBERS IN RESPONSE TO THIS PRESENTATION ARE ALSO REPORTED. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Australia; Fines; Judicial discretion; Magistrates; Sentencing/Sanctions
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=51689

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