Essay On Determinate Sentencing

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Determinate sentencing can deter crime since individuals are encouraged to weigh the consequences of their actions before carrying them out. If individuals were aware that a drug offence could carry a 10 year sentence if found guilty, it may persuade people who are deciding whether to commit this crime, to follow the law instead of break it (Determinate Sentencing Pros and Cons 2014). Thus, it can be inferred that the harsher the sentence, the more likely someone may decide to obey the law in avoiding the legal consequences of that criminal action (Determinate Sentencing Pros and Cons 2014). In their book Deterrence, Zimring and Hawkins explain that establishing lengthy imprisonment in sentencing laws warns the public that serious crimes will not be tolerated (Wicharaya 1995, p. 7). This reinforces and builds respect for law…show more content…
7). Such an idea is evident in Western Australia when mandatory sentencing laws, types of laws within determinate sentencing, were introduced and ultimately, reduced crime. The state government claimed that downward trends in car theft and juvenile convictions were due to the deterrent effects of the determinate sentencing legislation (Roche 2009, p. 4).
However, leniency on women’s punishment may undermine efforts of determinate sentencing to deter crime. Mitigating factors are taken into account, which allows for judges to lower their sentence and prevents the power of certainty of sentencing to discourage crime. Fox and Freiberg affirm this as they concluded that there were several cases where the courts stated it was appropriate to give a lower sentence for females (Naylor 1991, p. 1). The reasons given for leniency include 'reasons of compassion ', public opinion favouring a more merciful sentence for females, the lower recidivism rate of women and the differences in prevalence of crime between the sexes (Naylor 1991, p. 1).

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