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Punishing Persistent OffendersExploring Community and Offender Perspectives$
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Julian V. Roberts

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199283897

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199283897.001.0001

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Reconceptualizing the Recidivist Sentencing Premium

Reconceptualizing the Recidivist Sentencing Premium

(p.207) 10 Reconceptualizing the Recidivist Sentencing Premium
Punishing Persistent Offenders

Roberts Julian V

Oxford University Press

This chapter reviews the principal findings and conclusions of the volume, discusses the role that public opinion should play, and makes some modest proposals with respect to the sentencing of repeat offenders. The principal points emerging from this study include the following: statutory frameworks around the world all consider an offender's previous convictions at sentencing, although there is considerable variability in the way in which this information influences the severity of sentence imposed; sentencers generally follow a cumulative sentencing model, a pattern that emerges in jurisdictions that ostensibly pursue a different sentencing model, namely, the progressive loss of mitigation; sentencing theories vary considerably in the way that they justify the imposition of harsher sentences on repeat offenders. From the perspective of incapacitation or individual deterrence, the recidivist sentencing premium is easily justified. Public support for some kind of recidivist sentencing premium can be explained by reference to public knowledge of offenders, offending, and the sentencing process, as well as lay theories of culpability.

Keywords:   public opinion, recidivist sentencing premium, repeat offenders, previous convictions, cumulative sentencing, progressive loss of mitigation, sentencing, incapacitation, deterrence, culpability

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