You be the judge: What sentence would you give?

By Anna Leask, Claudia Ruiz

What sentence would you hand out?
What sentence would you hand out?

Over the last two weeks the Herald has spent time in the Auckland District Court observing judges hand down sentences to people earlier convicted of criminal offending. The offences ranged from violent attacks to drug-fuelled shootings and robberies to benefit fraud and drink driving.

Scroll down for the five cases

Before giving a sentence the presiding judge is presented with all of the case information including any presentence reports from relevant agencies including medical professionals and the Probation Service. The defence and prosecution have a chance to address the judge on what they believe an appropriate sentence would be for the offender, and any factors that they want the judge to take into account when considering the final sentence.

The judge may also hear from any victims about how the offending has impacted on them, in the form of a Victim Impact Statement. In some cases the offender also addresses the court, usually by way of a letter stating their remorse or apology.

This week we are asking readers what sentence should be handed down to these offenders who appeared in the Auckland District Court. Should they receive the maximum sentence for their crime? Or, based on all the information, should they get a shorter or less severe sentence based on their personal circumstances? This week we want you to be the judge.

Read the sentencing guidelines here.

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