Sentencing and Criminal Justice

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Cambridge University Press, Nov 3, 2005 - Law
1 Review
Providing unrivalled coverage of one of the most high-profile stages in the criminal justice process, this book examines the key issues in sentencing policy and practice. It provides an up-to-date account of the legislation on sentencing together with the ever-increasing amount of Court of Appeal case law. The law in relation to elements of the wider criminal justice system is examined, including the prison and probation services. The aim of the book is to examine English sentencing law in its context, drawing not only upon legislation and the decisions of the courts but also upon the findings of research and on theoretical justifications for punishment. This new edition has been extensively revised to integrate the new laws introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which has brought sweeping reforms into English sentencing.
 

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A CHANGE OF PRIORITIES IS MUCH OVERDUE
A review by Phillip Taylor MBE, Richmond Green Chambers
It’s over ten years since I last reviewed Professor Andrew Ashworth’s original work, which had first appeared in 1992 just after I began my practice at the Bar having attended his excellent lectures. His book continues to provide unrivalled coverage of one of the most high profile stages in the criminal justice process- sentencing - and remains the foremost statement on sentencing for practitioners and academics.
Ashworth examines the key issues surrounding sentencing policy and practice in 13 thoughtful chapters with a detailed bibliography at the back which is excellent for academic research. He provides a recent in-depth account of the legislation on sentencing together with the ever-increasing amount of Court of Appeal case law which seems for many of us to be never-ending.
The aim of the book, in this fourth edition, remains an examination of English sentencing law in its context, drawn not only from legislation and the decisions of the courts, but also the findings of research, and on theoretical justifications for punishment which will assist applied criminologists.
Ashworth’s analysis is given depth and perspective when he reviews the interaction between law and the wider criminal justice process, including the prison and probation services as they continue to be modernised by the government. The book also discusses the influence of statements from politicians, the mass media and public opinion which will be of particular relevance to jurisprudents and criminologists.
The book engages with the theory of sentencing and the reasons for depriving offenders of their liberty in its modern setting. He reflects on the quality of statistical evidence on the effectiveness of sentences, and pays particular attention to difficult questions and issues concerning:
• aggravating and mitigating factors in sentencing;
• the proper approach to dealing with persistent offenders;
• the relevance of race gender and unemployment; and
• the growth and use of current ‘preventive’ orders (such as anti-social behavior orders) which are not sentences as such, but which impose restrictions and obligations and can be considered part of this element of the criminal justice process.
This new edition has been extensively revised in order to integrate the new laws introduced by the Criminal Justice Act 2003, which brought sweeping reforms into English sentencing. It’s not a book which gives very current statements on sentencing policy but it has more gravitas from its thoughtful consideration of our controversial and complex system.
The last word can be left with Andrew Ashworth’s reflective thoughts when concluding that political courage is needed with new legislation for the modern role of our sentencing process. He identifies that a change of priorities is much overdue. He’s right, and when the fifth edition is published, we will see how much this contribution on sentencing continues to make to the Law in Context series for practitioners and academics given the responsibility for its understanding of the system and how we can make it work properly.
 

Contents

An introduction to English sentencing
1
12 The available sentences
2
13 The general statistical background
8
14 The criminal process
22
15 The formal sources of sentencing decisions
31
16 Informal influences on sentencing practice
41
Sentencing and the constitution
50
22 The Sentencing Advisory Panel and the Sentencing Guidelines Council
54
76 Social status
233
77 Equality parsimony and risk
234
Multiple offenders
239
81 Charging the multiple offender
240
82 Concurrent or consecutive?
242
83 Effect of the statutory principle
247
84 Consecutive sentences and the totality principle
248
85 Multiple offenders and proportionality
254

23 The judiciary the executive and sentencing policy
58
24 The Judicial Studies Board
61
25 The position of the magistracy
62
26 Conclusions
66
Sentencing aims principles and policies
67
32 Justifying state punishment
70
33 The rationales of sentencing
72
34 Some principles and policies
91
35 Sentencing rationales and English criminal justice
98
Elements of proportionality
102
42 Opinions about offenceseriousness
104
43 Developing parameters of ordinal proportionality
106
44 Offenceseriousness in practice
114
45 Individual culpability
142
46 Proportionality human rights and European law
147
47 Proportionality and offenceseriousness
148
Aggravation and mitigation
151
52 Aggravation as increased seriousness
153
53 Mitigation as diminished seriousness
160
54 Personal mitigation
163
55 Mitigation and aggravation in practice
178
56 Aggravation and mitigation in theory
180
Persistence prevention and prediction
182
62 Three approaches to punishing persistence
184
63 Previous convictions and the Criminal Justice Act 2003
191
64 The problem of professional criminals
201
65 Persistent petty offenders
202
66 The prevention of antisocial behaviour
203
67 Minimum sentences and selective incapacitation
206
68 Dangerous offenders and the 2003 Act
210
69 Conclusion
217
Equality before the law
219
72 Race
221
73 Gender
224
74 Employment status
227
75 Financial circumstances
230
Custodial sentencing
255
92 The use of imprisonment
260
93 Principles for the use of custodial sentences
265
94 The custody threshold and short custodial sentences
271
release on licence
281
96 Demographic features of the prison population
285
97 Conclusions
291
Noncustodial sentencing
293
102 The absolute discharge
295
103 Conditional discharges and bindovers
296
104 Compensation orders
298
105 Fines
302
106 The generic community sentence
312
107 Deferment of sentence
326
108 Conclusions
327
Procedural issues and ancillary orders
332
112 Ancillary orders
333
113 The obligation to give reasons for sentence
340
114 The factual basis for sentencing
342
115 Police antecedents statements
346
116 The role of the prosecution
347
117 Presentence reports
348
118 Defence speech in mitigation
350
119 The role of the victim
352
Special sentencing powers
359
122 Young adult offenders
368
123 Mentally disordered offenders38
370
Conclusions
380
132 The new penal ladder
382
the guideline system
384
134 Risk public protection and trifurcation
385
135 Proportionality and social justice
387
136 Political courage and criminal justice
388
References
390
Index
409
Copyright

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Page iii - Below is a listing of the more recent publications in the Law in Context Series Editors: William Twining ( University College, London) and Christopher McCrudden (Lincoln College, Oxford) Ashworth: Sentencing and Criminal Justice...

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Vinerian Professor of English Law, University of Oxford.

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