1. What is the purpose of a pre-sentence report? What might such a report contain?
The purpose of a pre-sentence report is to set out the individual circumstances of the convicted offender.
The report might contain interviews with the offender and others who may be able to shed some light on the person's past history and future potential.
2. What factors must a judge consider when deciding upon a sentence?
Judges often refer to similar cases but are not required to follow sentences imposed in similar cases. The judge may also consider the time spent in custody awaiting trial and/or sentencing, the circumstances of the convicted person, and the potential for rehabilitation.
3. What is a victim impact statement, and what is its purpose?
A victim impact statement is when the victim, and others affected by the offence, describe the effect the offence has had on their lives.
It is especially significant for offences such as assault causing bodily harm, sexually assault, and murder, which may have lasting psychological and financial effects on the victim and/ or the victim's family.
4. a) Name the four objectives of sentencing. Briefly explain each one.
Deterrence-something that serves to discourage a person from doing something
Retribution-a deserved penalty for a wrong or crime; vengeance
Rehabilitation or Resocialization-the restoration of a person to good physical, mental and moral health, throughout treatment and training
Segregation-the act of keeping an inmate in prison apart from other inmates
b) Are the objectives of punishment being successfully met? Explain your answer.
Critics of the sentencing process state there is little proof that any of these objectives are met. Studies have shown, for instance, that deterrents such as the death penalty are not effective in preventing the crime. Even the ability of our prison system to segregate...