An examination of the sentencing remarks of Indigenous and non-Indigenous criminal defendants in South Australia’s Higher Courts

Bond, Christine & Jeffries, Samantha (2009) An examination of the sentencing remarks of Indigenous and non-Indigenous criminal defendants in South Australia’s Higher Courts. In Proceeding of The Annual Conference of the Australian Sociological Association 2009, The Australian Sociological Association, Australian National University, Canberra.


Recent Australian research on Indigenous sentencing primarily explores whether disparities in sentencing outcomes exist. Little is known about how judges perceive or refer to Indigenous defendants and their histories, and how they interpret the circumstances of Indigenous defendants in justifying their sentencing decisions. Drawing on the ‘focal concerns’ approach, this study presents a narrative analysis of a sample of judges’ sentencing remarks for Indigenous and non-Indigenous criminal defendants convicted in South Australia’s Higher Courts. The analysis found that the sentencing stories of Indigenous and non-Indigenous offenders differed in ways that possibly reduced assessments of blameworthiness and risk for Indigenous defendants.

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ID Code: 32961
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Sentencing, Indigenous, Courts, Narratives, Mitigation
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > CRIMINOLOGY (160200) > Courts and Sentencing (160203)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 28 Jun 2010 21:44
Last Modified: 22 Jun 2017 14:42

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