By Gloria James-Civetta

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Sentencing process in criminal cases (Diagram)

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At the beginning of sentencing, the prosecutor informs the court of any criminal convictions. If there is, conviction is read out which is then disputed or confirmed by the offender. The prosecutor will then state the appropriate sentences for the offences. In doing so, the prosecutor will highlight the aggravating facts and also look at similar cases in the past to show the usual sentences for offenders with similar convictions. The defence counsel, if engaged or the offender may then mitigate and state reasons as to why a lighter punishment should be imposed. The prosecutor may reply to the mitigation.

After taking into account all the factors, the court will then decide on the sentencing for the offender.

Diagram for sentencing process

Offender is Convicted

Prosecutor reads out the Criminal Convictions

Prosecutor may address the Court on Sentence

Defence Counsel or Offender will Mitigate

Prosecutor replies to Mitigation

Judge decides the Sentence in Court

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