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Magistrates’ and Prosecutors’ Sentencing Preferences Based on Crime Case Scenarios

Naudé, Beaty
June 4, 2015

Source: (2003) Acta Criminologica. 16(5):67-72. Criminological Society of South Africa. Downloaded 6 May 2004.

As part of an empirical survey about restorative justice, magistrates and prosecutors were asked to indicate the sentences they would recommend/impose for eight crime case scenarios presented to them. It is acknowledged that information concerning the crime itself may not always be comprehensive enough and that, in some instances, more information regarding the offender’s background would have been useful for sentencing purposes. In fact, a few magistrates and prosecutors pointed this out.
Diversion includes community service, specific treatment programmes and correctional supervision while restorative mediation refers to family group conferencing and victim-offender mediation. Conditionally suspended cases involving diversion or restorative mediation will be indicated where it was an aspect of the recommended sentence. Cases where the respondents indicated that they were unable to recommend a sentence because they required a probation service report before sentence could be imposed or recommended, were was placed under “other”.
This article renders an overview of the respondents’ conclusions. (Abstract courtesy of Acta Criminologica).


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