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Canada (158,187)
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SOC346H5 (14)


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University of Toronto Mississauga
Nicole Myers

Readings Ch.7 Aggravating and Mitigating Factors The Role of Aggravating & Mitigating Factors  Aggravating and mitigating factors are often taken for granted in the sense that courts rarely debate their applicability or premises 1. The gravity of the offence in terms of the culpability of the offender and the consequential harm which was caused; and 2. The ways in which character, past conduct, and post-offence conduct implicate a particular objective of sentencing. Mitigating Factors Frist Offender  This discounts a special need for individual deterrence and suggests that a lenient response is in order. No Prior Record Advanced  Defense counsel should be careful not to characterize the offender as a “first offender”  The judge who deals with a case where no mention is made of any prior record must treat the offender as if she is a “first offender”  The judge who deals with a case where no mention is made of any prior record must treat the offender as if she is a “first offender” Prior Good Character  Good-character evidence during a trial when responsibility is at stake is usually limited to reputation in the community  For some offences, evidence of a person’s pro-social community commitment through volunteer work is not mitigating when the offence arises from those activities  Evidence of good community reputation has little probative value Guilty Plea and Remorse  The reason that a guilty plea is usually considered to be a mitigating factor is because it implies remorse and an acknowledgement of responsibility by the offender  The extent of the mitigating value is affected by the timing of the guilty plea: the earlier, the better  Convenience to the court by saving its time is not a reason for mitigation  The court is a public institution exercising an important public function and a guilty plea
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