Back to RJ Archive

Seriousness: A disproportionate construction and application?

Piper, Christine
June 4, 2015

Source: (2013) In, David J. Cornwell, John Blad, and Martin Wright, eds., Civilising criminal justice: An international restorative justice agenda for penal reform. pp. 187-206.

In particular, we focus on the role of persistent recidivism in this stage of the sentencing process. Increasingly, in the UK and elsewhere, past convictions have been used to communicate particular messages bu they do so by aggravating seriousness. By so doing, they inflate the sentencing levels in a way which could be deemed disproportionate. Indeed, it could be argued that pure desert theory is incompatible with any premiums for past offending but desert theorists have tried to accommodate past offending within retributivist approaches to sentencing. So, whilst the role of past convictions in desert theory is problematic, we will assess the more appropriate and fairest way of dealing with them in constructing seriousness for sentencing purposes. (excerpt)


Support the cause

We've Been Restoring Justice for More Than 40 Years

Your donation helps Prison Fellowship International repair the harm caused by crime by emphasizing accountability, forgiveness, and making amends for prisoners and those affected by their actions. When victims, offenders, and community members meet to decide how to do that, the results are transformational.

Donate Now