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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78480 Find in a Library
Title: Sentencing Problem - How Far Is a Fall From Grace?
Journal: Cleveland-Marshall Law Review  Issue:3  Dated:(September 1966)  Pages:587-597
Author(s): H H A Cooper
Date Published: 1966
Page Count: 11
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: A law professor evaluates a British appellate court's decision regarding the appeal of a sentence imposed on a police official convicted of various counts related to misuse of police funds. The case is examined in terms of the legal concepts of retribution, deterrence, and reformation.
Abstract: In the case of Regina v. McConnach, McConnach, the former chief constable of Southend on Sea, was sentenced to 2 years in prison for misuse of a discretionary fund under his control for hospitality purposes deemed inappropriate by the court according to specified fund's purposes. In appealing the sentence's severity, the defense argued that the offender's loss of pension through the conviction and his prior unblemished record as a public official and private citizen provided sufficient mitigating factors to warrant a lesser sentence. In upholding the sentence, the appellate court failed to indicate its rationale for deeming the sentence appropriate. An examination of the circumstances of the case does not support the sentence as being either necessary for deterrence or rehabilitation. Loss of job and pension benefits that would have been obtained by the offender in a matter of years, along with the public disgrace that befalls a criminal conviction of a public official, holds sufficient deterrent power to discourage the offender and any person so situated from repeating such an offense. The only rationale for supporting the sentence appears to be a retributive doctrine that maintains that any public official convicted of criminal activity in office should be imprisoned. Since any other first offender convicted of a similar crime would have received probation, the court appears to have created a special class of offenders, public officials and the like, who must suffer greater penalties than other citizens when they violate laws. Twenty-seven footnotes are listed.
Index Term(s): Discrimination; England; Judicial decisions; Police corruption; Sentencing/Sanctions
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