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Punishing persistent offenders: exploring community and offender perspectives

Hutton, N. (2009) Punishing persistent offenders: exploring community and offender perspectives. [Review]

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Abstract

In this closely argued and impressively wide ranging book, Julian Roberts examines one of the most challenging issues for sentencing theory and practice: how, if at all should previous convictions affect the severity of the sentence of the court? Neo-classical retributivist theory, often known as the 'just deserts' approach to sentencing, argues that punishment should be proportionate to the seriousness of the offence (seriousness being the sum of harm caused and the culpability of the offender). From this perspective, criminal history should play no part in allocating sentence because offenders have already received the appropriate punishment for past offences and should not be punished again.