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Lecture 6

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Nicole Myers

Sociology 219 Sentencing: Purpose and Principles May 27 2013 Term Paper  Look at social science evidence and how it would guide your decision at each stage  Research paper not opinion based except for the decision you make  Study you choose consistent with each decision at each stage  Decision to charge: studies looking at domestic violence, police interventions, readings on domestic violence- bring in evidence  Trying to demonstrate this is complex, people come to different decisions based on evidence  No broad introduction- get to the point “ in this paper it will be demonstrated there are complexities with each stage, using social science evidence I will show blah blah blah concluding that ect. Slide 4: Sentencing- Principles and Purposes  Sentencing structures ( what they look like)  Legal elements show one picture of what sentencing looks like  How it looks when its passed down  What does sentencing look like to the general public? Slide 5: Separating “ Simple Public Opinion”  What the public thinks about sentencing – we know from studies that people think that sentencing is too lenient but that fluctuates based on age and so on, the amount of information given and context  Think about media and court rooms  Context shifts the way people view sentencing  The public likes the idea of rules and restrictions in how you do things  The public does believe in flexibility and discretion  The public wants real consequences to their behavior- the state be watching you, comply to conditions issued by courts, real consequence for breaching  Important to provide real examples vs simple statements to general public Slide 6: Five Sentencing Truths  Case before court of appeal in Alberta  Sentencing is controversial in terms of its theory and practice  Indicate people know that depending on the judge you are put in front of the decision will vary Slide 7: Structure of Sentencing  Little guidance to judges as to what they were trying to do  Most people get no where close to the maximums- don’t provide a lot to judges  Judge made law: courts interpretation making decisions  Canada has a culture of individualization – based on their circumstances and their offence  Also can say Canada has a culture of restraint ( restraint in criminal justice system generally , restraint into those who don’t go into the system Slide 8: Culture of Restraint  Skeptical about imprisonment being the best way to respond to crime Slide 10: Criminal law in Canadian Society  Imprisonment is allowed and available, but we need to consider other alternatives before we go down the route of incarceration Slide 11: Difficulty  Severity comes to monopolize the conversation Slide 12: Purpose  Section 718 talks about sentencing  Some points contradict each other  Can you have more than one, is it different for different cases  No guidance for judges on which to choose  Has this really provided judges with any meaning Slide 13: Proportionality  We have to find a sentence that is proportionate to the offence  But what is proportionate?  Do we think of the seriousness of offence, or the consequences and results  Does the intent of offence have a place Slide 14:  Shall meaning they will  Certain factors that surround the case that make it qualitatively worse ( aggravating) or better ( mitigating ) st  Mitigating factors ( not listed in criminal code): 1 time offender, self defense , mental illness, how remorseful Slide 16: Parity  Opposite of disparity  We have one criminal code in Canada and its applied to all the provinces and territories. No matter where you are, you should be sentenced in the same way  Parity is subject to question Slide 17: Restraint  The least restrictive sanctions that are appropriate  If appropriate we should consider less p
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