Social Issues in the United Kingdom Crime 6_Courts System, Verdicts and Sentencing CONNECT: Hangman You know what it is! ______/_______/__________ Learning Intentions: Be able to name the different courts, and give examples of why you might appear there Be able to name the two types of court procedure Be able to explain the different verdicts the court can hand out and be able to explain why they might be used Be able to give different examples of sentences and explain why the UK no longer has the death penalty Be able to present arguments for and against the death penalty Introduction All courts in Scotland are organised by the Scottish Court Service (SCS), which is led by the Scottish Government. If a case is tried under criminal law the Scottish Government accuses them of breaking a law of Scotland. If a case is civil it involves a dispute between individuals or organisations. There are four types of court in Scotland, were you appear will depend on the seriousness of the offence that you are accused of. When someone is accused of a crime, the police submit the evidence to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service, who decide whether or not to prosecute. There are two types of court procedure. A solemn procedure means jury of 15 members of the public listen to the evidence and decide on the verdict. A judge will also be present and will decide what sentence the person will receive. A summary procedure is when a trial is held in Sheriff or Justice of the Peace Courts before a judge without a jury Using post-its create top and tails exercise on each of the following areas: *Criminal law *Civil law *Decision to prosecute *Solemn Court Procedure *Summary Court Procedure For example: a solemn procedure means a jury of 15 members of the public listen to the evidence and decide on the verdict High Court of Judiciary The high court is the supreme criminal court in Scotland and it deals with the most serious crimes, such as murder (homicide), culpable homicide, rape, armed robbery, treason and serious sexual offences, particularly those involving children. Sentencing powers: *Life (between 15 & 35 years) *Imprisonment *Unlimited fine *Prior to 1965 they could have given the death sentence The Sherriff Court Currently 49 in Scotland, by this is to be reduced to 39 by January 2015 Only 21 of these will deal with solemn cases Glasgow Sherriff Court deals with the highest number of cases in Scotland. They hear both civil and criminal cases and use solemn and summary procedures. Deals with crimes such as theft, assault, soliciting, possession of drugs and appeals from a Children’s Hearing. Under Solemn procedure, sheriffs can issue sentences of up to 5 years in prison or an unlimited fine Under Summary procedure, a sheriff can fine someone up to £10,000 or 12 months in prison Can also issue non-custodial sentences Types of civil case they deal with are, separation, divorce, dissolution of civil partnership, adoption or custody. Justice of the Peace Courts Replace District Courts in 2007 Lay court, can be carried out anywhere Justice of the Peace presides with the support of a legally qualified clerk Deal with minor offences, drunk and disorderly, traffic offences. Court of Session Scotland’s supreme civil court and it sits in Edinburgh. It can be used as a court of appeal and is headed by a Lord President. This court recently rejected an appeal brought by the Scotch Whisky Association and other wine and spirits producers against the Scottish Governments new alcohol minimum pricing legislation. Use Tarsia grid to create question and answers for the 4 different types of court in Scotland. 3 possible Verdicts 1. 2. 3. Not Guilty – based on the evidence the accused did not commit any crime and is free to go Guilty – Based on the evidence the accused committed a crime ‘beyond any reasonable doubt’ Not proven – There is suspicion of guilt but not enough evidence to convict – the accused is free to go Why do you think the not proven verdict is controversial? Use the laptops to come up with arguments for and against the not proven verdict in Scotland. Links to Not Proven Verdict Info. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_proven http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_criminal_ law http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/topstories/not-proven-fixture-of-scots-law-setfor-review-1-2973603 FOR Allows judges and juries to show when they are suspicious but not certain if someone is guilty AGAINST Evidence suggests guilt Permanent record for an innocent person Continues to be used in Scottish Courts Upsetting for victims if not found guilty It may be better for victims than an innocent verdict Confusing and pointless Juries can be unfairly influenced Arguments for and against NOT PROVEN verdict Custodial Sentencing People accused of serious crimes may be sent to prison to await their trial. This is called being on remand. If a person is found guilt of a serious crime they may be taken into custody. This means they may be forced to spend time in a prison or a young offender’s institution run by the Scottish Prison Service. At present anyone convicted of a murder automatically receives a life sentence, with guidance to judges to impose a minimum 16 year punishment on those who kill with a knife. If prisoners are well behaved, they may be given parole and released early or be given a non-custodial sentence for the remainder of their time. Using the information above explain, in your own words what a custodial sentence is. Non Custodial sentences are sentences which do not require custody (prison.) It costs around £331m a year to run the SPS. The average cost per prisoner in 2010-11 was £32,146. 64% of those released are reconvicted within 2 years. Non-Custodial Sentencing Fine / compensation: Offenders must pay money, perhaps to the victim Fixed Penalty Notice: On-the-spot fines issued by the police for low-level crimes such as littering Supervised Attendance Order – Alternative to prison for those who cannot pay fines Probation: Supervision for 6 months to 3 years, which may be combined with rehabilitation programmes Community Service Order: Requirement to carry out up to 300 hours of unpaid work in the community Restriction of Liberty Order: Offenders are given a curfew and their movements are restricted for 12 hours a day. Offenders must wear a transmitter that alerts the police if they violate their agreed conditions Drug Treatment and testing Order: This is a rehabilitation-based sentence during which people are subjected to random drug testing and court reviews to monitor their withdrawal from drugs Home detention curfew: Offenders must be in an agreed address by a certain time each day and if the curfew is broken they may be sent to prison Community Reparation Order: Offenders must complete up to 100 hours of unpaid work in the community Antisocial Behaviour Order: This bans someone (over the age of 12) from causing disruption with the behaviour. Graffiti, noise pollution and littering. Broken ASBOs can lead up to fines or up to 5 years in prison. Use information from previous slide to create notes using post-its. Term on front and explanation on back. FOR AGAINST Current methods of execution are reliable, quick and painless If a person takes someone’s life they deserve to die It acts as a deterrent to those who may commit serious crimes Some murderers are incapable of being rehabilitated It costs the Scottish Government up to £40,000 per year to imprison one person. Life could mean 35 years which is £140,000. This money could be spend improving health care There have been instances where lethal injection has been slow and painful. Life in prison causes more suffering It does not act as a deterrent, the US state of Texas currently uses the death penalty and executed 15 people by lethal injection in 2012 alone. It goes against basic human rights Guilty verdicts can be wrong. Innocent people may be executed. Death Penalty Guardian News: Further Reading The state tried to kill Lockett, a convicted rapist and murderer, on 29 April for 16 minutes before drawing the blinds to the public witnesses. Before the blinds were drawn, Lockett writhed, groaned and tried to speak. Officials said he died of a heart attack 43 minutes after the execution started, while an autopsy conducted in Texas concluded he died from “judicial execution by lethal injection.” Before that, the process of finding a vein had taken nearly an hour.