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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 73320 Find in a Library
Title: Application of the Law of July 11, 1975, Modifying and Supplementing Particular Clauses of the Criminal Code at the Appeal Court of Aix-en-Provence (France)
Journal: Revue de science criminelle et de droit penal compare  Issue:3  Dated:(July-September 1979)  Pages:521-524
Author(s): J Syr
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 4
Type: Statistics
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: France
Annotation: Despite the enactment of a law introducing new alternatives to imprisonment for infractions punishable by short prison terms, French judges appear reluctant to depart from judicial traditions.
Abstract: Data obtained through personal interviews with judges, magistrates, prosecutors, and staff of a French appellate court for 1975 (prior to enactment of the new law) and 1976 (when the new law was already in force) revealed few changes in sentencing patterns as a consequence of the new law provisions. Fixed fines and suspended sentences continued to be the traditional substitute penalties most frequently applied. The newer alternatives to short prison sentences (e.g., delayed sentencing, out-of-court settlement, suspension or loss of a driver's license for traffic related offenses) were seldom applied. Among the reasons cited by criminal justice practitioners was the necessity for accurate personal information on the defendants in cases involving the suspension or removal of a driver's license, a penalty which was also more strenuously resisted by defendants and their attorneys than suspended prison sentences. Delayed sentencing was considered impractical, because it requires a second appearance in court by the defendant, who frequently does not appear. In general, based on the data gathered for the 2 years preceding and following enactment of the 1975 law under discussion, it appears that prison sentences are still the key penalties in the French criminal justice delivery system.
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Appellate courts; Criminal codes; Criminal justice statistics; Fines; France; Law reform
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