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SOC209H5 (126)
Chapter 8

Chapter 8: Sentencing

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Jennifer Carlson

Sentencing 26/04/2013 7:44:00 AM Section 718 of the Criminal Code sets out the purpose and principles of sentencing: The fundamental purpose of sentencing is to contribute, along with crime prevention initiatives, to a respect for the law and maintenance of a just, peaceful and safe society by imposing just sanctions that have one or more of the following objectives:  To denounce unlawful conduct  To deter the offenders and other persons from committing offences;  To separate offenders from society, where necessary  To assist in rehabilitating offenders  To provide reparations for harm done to victims or to the community  To promote a sense of responsibility in offenders, and acknowledgment of the harm done to victims and to the community Section 718.1 states that a sentence has to be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and to the degree of responsibility of the offender. Section 718.2 states that it has follow under certain principles pertaining to evidence. Three main groups of sentencing goals: Utilitarian Goal: the sentence is designed to protect the public from future crimes in the following ways:  By discouraging potential predators from crime, general deterrence.  By discouraging the predators from doing it again, specific deterrence.  By curing the predators of what made them do it, rehabilitation.  By keeping the predators in jail to protect society, incapacitation. Retributive Goals: the past rather than the future is the focus of retributive sentencing goals, which include:  Denunciation: that is, expressing society’s disapproval of the behaviour of predators.  Retribution: that is, making the two men “pay” for their offences, based on the philosophy “an eye for an eye”  A key concept in retributive sentencing is proportionality- that is, the sentence handed down should be proportionate to the gravity of the offence and to the convicted person’s degree of responsibility. Restorative Goals:  The most widely restorative approaches are victim- offender reconciliation, circle sentencing and family group conferencing. o Is based on the principle that criminal behaviour injures not only the victim, but communities and offenders as well. Sentencing Discharge  Absolute discharge: a sentence wherein the accused is found guilty but does not gain a criminal record and is given no sentence.  Conditional discharge: is similar to an absolute discharge except that the offender is placed on probation, with various conditions, one of which is “to keep the peace and be of good behaviour.”  The fine option program: a program that provides offenders who cannot pay a fine with the opportunity to discharge, through community service work, all or part of the fine.  Suspended sentence: a sentencing option whereby the judge convicts the accused but technically gives no sentence and instead places the offender on probation, which, if successfully completed, results in no sentence being given, usually given probation.  Probation: no minimum penalty prescribed, the sentencing judge may place the offender on probation.  Restitution: compensation to victims. Often involves mischief, fraud, and theft. Helps restore victims to their pre-offence financial condition and because it holds the offender accountable to the parties he or she has
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