Have you ever wondered why different convicts are given different sentences for the same offences? Have you ever wondered how many years a criminal would spend in prison or perhaps you have asked yourself why the court gives permanent sentences or double sentences? This episode of Spirit Of The Law will enlighten you on the issues that surround criminal sentencing.

The host Ada Ama-Njoku and her guest Miss Meagan B, discuss the factors relating to sentencing of an accused. The South African criminal procedure act51 of 1977 is the primary legislation for criminal matters. This act makes provision for the different kinds of offences, the factors the courts consider when sentencing the accused for a particular offense, and the kind of sentence meted out by our courts.

Miss Meagan explains that the purpose for the different sentences revolve around retribution, prevention and rehabilitation. Through these, the courts seek to ensure the communities’ interests are protected, and that there is retribution seen and done to the crime committed. The procedure that takes place after the accused has been convicted is that, the court has to hear evidence and submissions from both parties, being the offender, and on behalf of the state the prosecutor, and then judgement is given accordingly.