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Factors taken into consideration
in sentencing for drugs offences..
severity of the offence (drug involved, whether supply
commercial or 'social')
the defendant pleads guilty or is convicted by a jury
appropriateness of custodial sentences (jailing the
60k businessman may have led to job losses among others)
views & prejudices of the trial judge (re drugs
or a defendant's social status)
history (a subsequent drug offence will be treated
circumstances (e.g. medical necessity)
you are in the UK - there are wide regional variations
in the proportions of offenders cautioned or imprisoned.
status impinges at several points on the process. A
better-off defendant is more likely to be treated leniently
for several reasons or combinations thereof:
defendants may be more able to afford bulk purchases
of drugs within their means (e.g. monthly salary)
defendants are more likely to be accused of dealing
to support a heavy habit
off defendants may be more confident and articulate
in the witness box, and may be able to afford better
judge may move in similar social circles (golf clubs/masonic
lodges?) as better off defendants, and empathise with
defendants may not be able to pay fines, and thus
be more likely to face custodial sentences
defendants may be more likely to have previous convictions,
and more likely to be arrested in the first place.