An Examination of the Sentencing Remarks of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Criminal Defendants in South Australia’s Higher Courts
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Recent Australian research on Indigenous sentencing primarily explores whether disparities in sentencing outcomes exist. Little is known about how judges perceive or refer to Indigenous defendants and their histories, and how they interpret the circumstances of Indigenous defendants in justifying their sentencing decisions. Drawing on the 'focal concerns' approach, this study presents a narrative analysis of a sample of judges' sentencing remarks for Indigenous and non-Indigenous criminal defendants convicted in South Australia's Higher Courts. The analysis found that the sentencing stories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders differed in ways that possibly reduced assessments of blameworthiness and risk for Indigenous defendants.
The Australian Sociological Association 2009 Annual Conference: The future of sociology
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Courts and Sentencing