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Criminology- Disparity in Sentencing Policy

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Criminology
Ashish Jadhav
23LLM005
-Disparity in Sentencing Policy-
Table of contents
01
04
02
05
03
06
Introduction
Understanding
Disparity Judicial Discretion
Socio-eco Impact Regional Disparity Sentencing
Guidelines
Reforms
Conclusion
Introduction
01
- In the intricate tapestry of the Indian legal system, a stark reality emerges — the
presence of sentencing disparities.
- Importance:
It is imperative to delve into these disparities, recognizing their profound impact on the
fabric of justice and emphasizing the critical need to address them for the sake of
fairness and equity.
Introduction
01
Scope of the Issue:
Understanding the scope of sentencing
disparities is crucial, as it not only affects
individuals but also shapes the broader trust
in the legal system. Acknowledging this scope
lays the foundation for a comprehensive
examination of the issue.
Understanding the disparity
02
- Definition:
1. Sentencing disparities in the Indian
context refer to the unequal
treatment of individuals based on
factors such as:
a. Socio-economic background
b. Geographic location
c. Other relevant variables
Understanding the disparity
02
- Factors Contributing:
Exploring the root causes of sentencing variations
involves considering:
A. Socio-economic conditions
B. Geographical considerations
C. Judicial discretion and decision-making processes

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Criminology- Disparity in Sentencing Policy

  • 2. Table of contents 01 04 02 05 03 06 Introduction Understanding Disparity Judicial Discretion Socio-eco Impact Regional Disparity Sentencing Guidelines Reforms Conclusion
  • 3. Introduction 01 - In the intricate tapestry of the Indian legal system, a stark reality emerges — the presence of sentencing disparities. - Importance: It is imperative to delve into these disparities, recognizing their profound impact on the fabric of justice and emphasizing the critical need to address them for the sake of fairness and equity.
  • 4. Introduction 01 Scope of the Issue: Understanding the scope of sentencing disparities is crucial, as it not only affects individuals but also shapes the broader trust in the legal system. Acknowledging this scope lays the foundation for a comprehensive examination of the issue.
  • 5. Understanding the disparity 02 - Definition: 1. Sentencing disparities in the Indian context refer to the unequal treatment of individuals based on factors such as: a. Socio-economic background b. Geographic location c. Other relevant variables
  • 6. Understanding the disparity 02 - Factors Contributing: Exploring the root causes of sentencing variations involves considering: A. Socio-economic conditions B. Geographical considerations C. Judicial discretion and decision-making processes
  • 7. Judicial Discretion 03 - Role in Disparities: ★ Judicial discretion, a cornerstone of legal decision-making, significantly influences sentencing outcomes. ★ Judges' individual perspectives and interpretations contribute to variations in how sentences are determined. - Case Examples: ➔ Real-case examples vividly illustrate the impact of judicial discretion on sentencing. ➔ Instances where similar offenses result in disparate sentences showcase the influence of individual judicial perspectives on the legal process.
  • 8. Case Laws ● Suresh Chandra Bahri v State of Bihar AIR 1994 SC 2420 observed that “The critique of judicial sentencing has taken several forms: it is inequitable as reflected in disparate sentences; it is ineffectual; or it is unfair because it is either inadequate or, in some situations, cruel. It has frequently been stated that there is a significant disparity in punishing an accused who has been found guilty of some offence.”
  • 9. Case Laws Dhananjoy Chatterjee alias Dhana v State of West Bengal. (1994) 2 SCC 220 The court acknowledged & accepted discrepancies in courts’ criminal punishment, particularly in severe offences against women.
  • 10. Case Laws Ravji alias Ram Chandra v. State of Rajasthan, (1996) 2 SCC 175. It is the nature and intensity of the offence, rather than the offender, which are relevant in determining suitable punishment in a criminal prosecution. The Court will be failing in its duty if proper punishment is not awarded for a crime committed not only against the individual victim but also against the society to which the perpetrator and victim belong. The punishment for a crime must be just in nature, conform to and be consistent with the atrocity and brutality with which the crime was committed, the enormity of the crime warranting public abhorrence, and it must respond to society’s cry for justice against the criminal.
  • 11. Socio-economic Impact 04 - Effect on Marginalized Communities: ● Disparities hit marginalized communities harder, perpetuating systemic injustices and creating hurdles for the attainment of equitable justice. ● Socio-economic factors intersect with sentencing outcomes, amplifying the impact on vulnerable groups and deepening societal divides. - Access to Legal Representation: ❖ - Limited access to legal representation exacerbates sentencing disparities, emphasizing the urgency of addressing socio-economic barriers. ❖ - The correlation between effective legal representation and fair sentencing underscores the need for initiatives that enhance accessibility to legal resources for all.
  • 12. Regional Disparity ❏ Geographical Influence: Geographical location significantly influences sentencing outcomes, leading to disparities in how justice is meted out in different regions. Cultural, social, and historical factors contribute to these regional variations, shaping the overall landscape of sentencing. Eg: Dowry RJ & Goa. ❏ Comparative Analysis: Conducting a comparative analysis allows us to discern patterns in sentencing across diverse states, unveiling the disparities that exist. Understanding these variations lays the groundwork for addressing systemic issues and promoting a more consistent and equitable legal landscape 05
  • 13. Sentencing Guidelines ❏ Existing Framework ❖ The current sentencing guidelines in India form the bedrock of judicial decision- making, outlining the parameters for sentencing in various cases. ❖ These guidelines serve as a reference point for judges, offering a structured framework for sentencing decisions. 06 ❏ Challenges ➢ Despite the existence of guidelines, challenges persist in implementing consistent sentencing policies. ➢ The nuanced nature of cases and the discretion granted to judges introduce complexities, requiring a careful balance between standardization and flexibility in sentencing.
  • 14. Reforms ❏ Argument in favor ★ Advocating for reforms in sentencing policies is imperative to address existing disparities and foster a more just and equitable legal system. ★ Highlighting specific areas that require reform, such as reducing discretion or enhancing transparency, strengthens the call for change. ❏ International Models ● Examining international sentencing models provides valuable insights into effective practices. ● Comparative analysis allows policymakers to learn from successful approaches in other jurisdictions, informing the design of reforms tailored to the Indian context. 07
  • 16. Call for Action ❏ Public Awareness ❖ Public awareness plays a crucial role in addressing sentencing disparities. ❖ By elucidating the realities of the issue, the public becomes an active participant in advocating for change and promoting a fairer legal system. 06 ❏ Encourage Advocacy for reforms ➢ Advocacy is a potent force for change in policy. ➢ Encouraging individuals, organizations, and stakeholders to actively advocate for reforms ensures a collective effort toward achieving a more equitable sentencing framework.
  • 17. Conclusion - Summarizing Key Points: - In conclusion, the examination of sentencing disparities in the Indian legal system reveals a complex tapestry of factors influencing judicial decisions. - Acknowledging Complexity: - Acknowledging the intricate nature of sentencing variations is essential in fostering a nuanced understanding of the challenges at hand. - Urgency for Reform: - The urgency for reform is evident, with a clear call to address disparities and ensure a legal system that embodies fairness, equity, and public trust.

Editor's Notes

  1. inequitable-unfair
  2. In some areas, there may be a more traditional and conservative approach towards dowry-related offenses, while in others, the legal system might adopt a more progressive stance