Chapters

The sentencing process

Prosecution Submissions

The prosecution submits agreed facts, and makes submissions on the aggravating and mitigating factors of the offence. It is not the role of the prosecution to seek the harshest penalty possible, but to present a view of the offence. The prosecution can discuss the sentencing range within which the offence falls, for example – low, mid or high range offending. 

The Plea in Mitigation

The plea in mitigation is a statement that the defence lawyer can submit to the court that tells the court about the offender’s circumstances. Particularly relevant in a plea in mitigation will be remorse. Other factors include the impact on the victim of community retribution, loss of employment, status, and attempts at rehabilitation. The combination of factors is diverse, depending on both the offender and the offence.

The Sentencing Decision

The court reaches a decision based on available information and hands down the decision in a ‘Comment on Passing Sentence’. These ‘COPS’ are readily accessible through the Supreme Court website as far back as 2008. Earlier sentences can be accessed in the University of Tasmania law library, or by contacting the Andrew Inglis Clark library at the Supreme Court. 

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