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.
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