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NCJ Number: 77905 Find in a Library
Title: Role of the Sentencer in Dealing With Criminal Offenders in the Commonwealth Caribbean (From Crime and Punishment in the Caribbean, P 1-28, 1980, Rosemary Brana-Shute and Gary Brana-Shute, ed. - See NCJ-77904)
Author(s): D Chuck
Date Published: 1980
Page Count: 28
Sponsoring Agency: University Press of Florida
Gainesville, FL 32603
Sale Source: University Press of Florida
15 15th Street, NW
Gainesville, FL 32603
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Sentencers and how they sentence in the Commonwealth Caribbean are examined, with particular reference to Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad, and Tobago.
Abstract: In the Commonwealth Caribbean, the imposition of a sentence on a criminal offender is the sole province of judges and magistrates; however, in the case of mandatory sentences, it can properly be said that Parliament is the sentencer. There is no formal training for judges and magistrates to prepare them for their sentencing role. Whatever competence and proficiency in sentencing they may have is based solely on experience gained in practice or from individual study. The range of sentences includes capital punishment, corporal punishment, custodial sentences, probation, fines, community service orders, absolute discharge, conditional discharge, binding-over, suspended sentence, and attendance center. The aims of sentencing are retribution, deterrence vis-a-vis potential offenders, deterrence vis-a-vis the offender being sentenced, incapacitation, and rehabilitation. Factors generally considered in determining a sentence are the seriousness of the offense, the defendant's prior record, and aggravating and mitigating factors. Presentence reports prepared by probation officers are part of the input for the sentencing decision. Reforms needed to improve the effectiveness and consistency of sentencing are formal training in sentencing technique and practice, a requirement that sentencers give reasons for their sentences, and the use of prediction methods to help sentencers in determining the sentence most likely to be effective with particular offenders. Sentencing panels should also be considered as a means of improving the consistency and effectiveness of sentencing. A total of 114 footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Judicial discretion; Presentence investigations; Sentencing reform; Sentencing/Sanctions; West Indies
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