Sentencing Theories And Theories Of Theories

1464 WordsOct 26, 20146 Pages
Question 1 Sentencing theories what justify handing down a punishment for committing a crime or wrongdoing. Punishments infliction harm on the offender and therefore this needs to be justified. There are three main categories of sentencing theories, utilitarian theories, retributive theories and hybrid theories. Utilitarian theories follow the idea that the most ethical way to punish is the one which has the most benefit at the least cost. Retributive theories are concerned with the offender getting what they deserve for committing a crime. Finally, hybrid theories are a mix of both utilitarian and retributive theories. Sentencing theories are reflected in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld) (PSA) which is to be followed by judges when handing down a sentence. S9 (1) (a) – (f) of the PSA is an exhaustive list of all the purposes a sentence can be imposed for. General deterrence is included as one of the purposes of sentencing under s9 (1) (c) PSA: (c) to discourage the offender or other persons from committing the same or a similar offence. Despite being included as a purpose of sentencing in Australia, there has been much discussion as to the use of general deterrence as a purpose of sentencing. In Report Number 44 of 1998 the Australian Law Reform Commission recommended that general deterrence should not be a goal or objectives of sentencing. The ALRC were of the view that it is unfair to increase an offender’s penalty to set an example and that the only relevant

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