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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 78593 Find in a Library
Title: International Summaries: Application of Partial Suspension of Sentence in French County Courts
Author(s): G Levasseur; M P Champenois-Marnier
Corporate Author: National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
United States of America
Date Published: Unknown
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
Washington, DC 20531
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
National Institute of Justice/NCJRS
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice NIJ Pub
Washington, DC 20531
Contract Number: J-LEAA-023-77
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS Publication Sales
Box 6000 Department F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The new possibility of partially suspended sentences in French county courts is surveyed.
Abstract: The partially suspended sentence ('Sursis Partiel'), which was introduced in 1970, possesses few equivalents outside French law. In contrast to total suspension, only part of the sentence is suspended and the offender must serve part of his prison term. In order to explore the significance of this new type of sentencing, a statistical analysis was conducted of 767 court records dealing with partially suspended sentences in 6 French county courts, and a set of interviews were held with judges and other court experts who had contributed to the decisions. The statistical analysis indicated that the length of the term which actually must be served in prison depends on the length of any pretrial detention, and the extent of the damage caused by the offense (among other factors). The duration of the overall sentence increases with the extent of the damage, the length of the pretrial detention, and the length of the suspended part of the sentence. The length of the suspended part of the sentence depends (among other factors) on the amount of extenuating circumstances and on the offender's educational level. Interviews revealed that the court officials responded favorably to the partially suspended sentence and made frequent use of it. In selecting this mode of punishment, the judges emphasized five personality aspects: the existence of dependents, the offender's youth, no previous crime record, a favorable prediction, and employment that would be jeopardized by a prison term. Other factors mentioned were whether violence or a weapon was involved and whether the victim was helpless. In some areas, statistical analysis and interviews corroborated each other, in others they disagreed. Studies of other types of French courts will be needed to complete the research project. The study contains no bibliographical references.
Index Term(s): County courts; Crime seriousness measures; France; Judicial discretion; Mixed sentences; Offender classification; Offense classification; Penalty severity rating; Sentencing factors; Suspended sentences
Note: This article, summarized and translated from French by Sybille Jobin, was originally published in France in 1978. NIJ/NCJRS international summary of "L'application d'un suris partiel par les tribunaux correctionnels francais" (NCJ-59769).
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