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Some Thoughts on Multiple Sentences and the Totality Principle: Can We Get It Right?

NCJ Number
Canadian Journal of Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 55 Issue: 4 Dated: October 2013 Pages: 481-494
Allan Manson
Date Published
October 2013
14 pages
This paper examines the use of and proper application of multiple sentencing.
The problem of multiple offence sentencing is both common and perplexing. It has recently attracted the attention of several leading sentencing scholars, but a principled response still seems elusive. A totality approach ought not to undermine proportionality. Perhaps the answer will require different approaches for different categories of problems. High end offences, attracting long sentences, can be distinguished as one category. For this group, totality is the sentencing driver, not a limit. Restraint is the key. For non-high end offences, it is valuable to consider them in relation to higher levels of culpability to maintain both proportionality and restraint. Here, totality is a limit, not the driver. (Published Abstract)