Punishing Persistent Offenders: Previous Convictions and the Sentencing Process by Julian V. Roberts

Punishing Persistent Offenders: Previous Convictions and the Sentencing Process

byJulian V. Roberts

Hardcover | February 21, 2008

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Despite very diverse approaches towards punishing crime, all Western jurisdictions punish repeat offenders more harshly (a practice known as the recidivist sentencing premium) . For many repeat offenders, their previous convictions have more impact on the penalty they receive than theseriousness of their current crime. Why do we punish recidivists more harshly? Some sentencing theorists argue that offenders should be punished only for the crimes they commit - not for the crimes committed and paid for in the past. From this perspective, punishing repeat offenders more severelyamounts to double punishment. Having been punished once for an offence, the recidivist will pay for the crime again every time he re-offends. Is this fair? This volume explores the nature and consequences of the recidivist sentencing premium on both the theoretical and empirical levels. It begins by exploring the justifications for treating repeat offenders more harshly, and then provides examples of the practice from a number of jurisdictionsincluding England and Wales, Canada, and the United States. Particular attention is paid to the views of two important groups: convicted offenders and the general public. If offenders believe that the recidivist sentencing premium is unjustified, they are less likely to accept the legitimacy of thejustice system. As for members of the public, it is important to know whether this key element of the sentencing process is consistent with community views.

About The Author

Julian Roberts is Professor of Criminology at the University of Oxford and has been conducting research in the area of sentencing since 1983. In the 1980s he worked for a Royal Commission on Sentencing and he has been teaching sentencing to students, criminal justice professionals and judges ever since. Roberts' other principal area o...
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Details & Specs

Title:Punishing Persistent Offenders: Previous Convictions and the Sentencing ProcessFormat:HardcoverDimensions:200 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.83 inPublished:February 21, 2008Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199283893

ISBN - 13:9780199283897

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Historical Origins of the Recidivist Premium3. Conceptualizing Criminal History4. Previous Convictions and Theories of Sentencing5. Justifying the Recidivist Sentencing Premium6. The Effect of Previous Convictions on Sentencing Practices7. Consequences of Criminal Conviction8. Criminal history and the views of the public9. Counting the Past: Is there a better way?Appendices