Aggravating Circumstances

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Aggravating Circumstances


in criminal law, circumstances that make a particular criminal act and the criminal himself more dangerous socially and that entail more severe punishment.

In Soviet law an exhaustive list of aggravating circumstances is given in the criminal codes of the Union republics. A distinction is made between (1) aggravating circumstances that are constituent elements of a particular crime, for example, repeated theft (in such instances the increased punishment is prescribed by law for the particular type of crime), and (2) circumstances that are not constituent elements of the specific crime but apply to all types of crime. For example, Article 39 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR includes among such aggravating circumstances the previous commission of a crime, or the commission of a crime by an organized group, from mercenary motives, with unusual cruelty, or against minors or persons advanced in age. Aggravating circumstances not prescribed by law may not be considered by the court in assigning the punishment.

The determination of aggravating circumstances is also important for identifying the factors and conditions that contributed to the commission of the crime. These findings are used to develop measures to prevent crime.

References in periodicals archive ?
177) Justice Shaw interpreted Ring to require that aggravating circumstances, of which at least one must be present to sentence death, must be subject to the same treatment as other elements of the offense.
2005), which addressed "the propriety of specific instructions for aggravating circumstances.
Petro Morkel, Christovao Fresco Ndima and Denis Gentil Nyone are due to stand trial in the Pretoria High Court for the murder of Picton-Turbervill, robbing the family with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
Petro Morkel, Christovao Fresco Ndima and Dinis Gentil Nyone will stand trial in the Pretoria High Court for the murder of Picton-Turbervill, robbing the family with aggravating circumstances and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
The Sentencing Guidelines Council said causing death by dangerous driving involving a combination of serious factors should be liable for a sentence approaching the maximum of 14 years, particularly if there are aggravating circumstances such as failing to stop or a very bad driving record.
Until the courts get a proper grip of such cases, taking the aggravating circumstances fully into account, the yobs who commit such despicable crimes against the elderly and vulnerable, will continue to consider the risk of being caught worthwhile.
Murdoch has also pleaded not guilty to charges of depriving Ms Lees, now 32, of her personal liberty and of unlawfully assaulting her in aggravating circumstances, so that she suffered bodily harm and was threatened with a gun.
Thus, once a jury finding has raised the maximum sentence to death, a majority of states let judges find that the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating circumstances and so warrant death.
They are not issued where there are aggravating circumstances and damage to property or injury caused to anyone, nor in relation to harassment in any form or racial motivated crimes, domestic incidents or related to a football banning order.
In its 900-page extradition request, Israel had said it wanted to try Mousa Mohammed Abu Marzook, who is said to be the political leader of Hamas, on charges of ``murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, harm with aggravating intent, harm and wounding under aggravating circumstances and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Mngeni has pleaded not guilty to charges of kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, murder, and the illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
Xolile Mngeni, 26, the first suspect arrested in connection with the case, appeared in Cape Town's Wynberg Regional Court accused of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and kidnapping.