Sentencing (English Legal System)

1585 Words7 Pages
Sentencing Essay a) Describe the sentences available for adult offenders (18 marks) The courts have several different sentences they can give an adult offender; an overview of the sentences can put them into four main categories: custodial sentences, fines, discharges and community sentences. The courts can also give specific sentences such as compensation orders, and disqualification from driving or banning from driving for motoring offences. The first and most popular sentences imposed by the courts are custodial sentences. This is were the offender is incarcerated for a length of time depending on the offence they committed. For example, the offence of murder carries a mandatory life sentence, which is where the offender must be imprisoned for a minimum length of time, specified by the judge. Murder of two or more people, with sexual or sadistic motivation, the murder of a child involving abduction, sexual or sadistic motivation, a murder for a cause, or a murder committed by an offender previously convicted of murder all carry Mandatory Life sentences. Another custodial sentence is a discretionary life sentence. As its name suggests, the judge gives the life sentence at his/her discretion. Discretionary life sentences tend to be given for the more serious offences such as rape, manslaughter or robbery. The judge (as said before) does not have to give a life sentence a may chose a fine, discharge or community sentence instead. The final custodial sentence available to judges is a fixed-term sentence. Yet this sentence is always harder for a judge to give as there are many factors which determine the sentence being given; the maximum sentence available for that particular crime, the defendant’s previous record and the seriousness of the crime committed. The defendant is then given a set number of months or years in prison hence the name ‘fixed-term’.

More about Sentencing (English Legal System)

Open Document