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Character in the Criminal Trial$
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Mike Redmayne

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199228898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199228898.001.0001

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Punishing Character

Punishing Character

(p.221) 11 Punishing Character
Character in the Criminal Trial

Mike Redmayne

Oxford University Press

This chapter starts by looking closely at some of the ways in which criminal record and other forms of character evidence impact on sentencing in England and Wales, before moving on to justificatory arguments. It argues that the influence of character on sentence is partly justified. Drawing on von Hirsch's theory of progressive loss of mitigation, the chapter suggests that, while character does not seem to be relevant to culpability, it helps to inform judgments about whether an offender will take censure seriously. This allows character to mitigate, and to play a limited aggravating role.

Keywords:   character evidence, criminal trials, sentencing, English law, criminal record

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