Previous Convictions at Sentencing

Theoretical and Applied Perspectives

Edited by: Julian V Roberts, Andrew von Hirsch

Now available in paperback, this volume addresses one of the oldest and most contested questions in the field of criminal sentencing: should an offender's previous convictions affect the sentence? This question provokes a series of others: Is it possible to justify a discount for first offenders within a retributive sentencing framework? How should previous convictions enter into the sentencing equation? At what point should prior misconduct cease to count for the purposes of fresh sentencing? Should similar previous convictions count more than convictions unrelated to the current offense? Statutory sentencing regimes around the world incorporate provisions which mandate harsher treatment of repeat offenders. Although there is extensive literature on the definition and use of criminal history information, the emphasis here is on the theoretical and normative aspects of considering previous convictions at sentencing. Several of the book's contributors explore the theory underlying the practice of mitigating the punishments for first offenders, while others put forth arguments for enhancing sentences for recidivists. The practice of sentencing repeat offenders in two jurisdictions (England/Wales and Sweden) is also examined in detail. It will be invaluable reading for members of the criminal bar, as well as academics who teach the law of evidence. (Series: Studies in Penal Theory and Penal Ethics - Vol. 4)


Publication Date: 7/1/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781849466844

Available in other formats