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Some Unresolved Legal Issues Relating to Punishment of Offenders in Criminal Law and Their Effect on Sentencing Policies: The Case of Drug Abusers

NCJ Number
Bulletin on Narcotics Volume: 36 Issue: 3 Dated: special issue (July-September 1984) Pages: 59-76
S K Chatterjee
Date Published
18 pages
This article discusses criminal law and drug law sentencing policies, pointing out certain unresolved legal issues.
Criminal justice policy is based on policy makers' presumptions regarding the effectiveness of sanctions on the behavior of offenders. These presumptions are often extra-legal and reflect political and social ideas as well as moral principles. The degree of recklessness, negligence or liability exercised by the offender influences sentencing policy even though sanctions are value-oriented and need no legal justification. Sometimes policy makers disregard the criminal acts of drug addicts in an attempt to rehabilitate them. Illicit drug traffickers, even if they are also drug addicts, must be held accountable and receive severe legal sanctions for their acts. 34 footnotes. (Author abstract modified)


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