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Sentenced Homicides in New South Wales 1994-2001

NCJ Number
Jason Keane B.A.; Patrizia Poletta B.A.
Date Published
January 2004
150 pages
This document examines the various categories of culpable homicide, principally murder and manslaughter, and the sentences imposed for these offenses in New South Wales.
The study included infanticide cases but excluded deaths from driving cases, which were not prosecuted as either murder or manslaughter, and murder-suicide cases that could not result in a sentence. The primary data were obtained from court files held by the New South Wales Supreme and District Court Registries. The goal of the study was to determine whether there were distinct patterns or types of homicide offenses that fall within particular sentencing ranges. The findings indicate that 216 offenders were convicted of murder as the principal offense (45.3 percent of offenders); and 261 offenders were convicted of manslaughter as the principal offense (54.7 percent of offenders). Male homicide offenders outnumbered female homicide offenders by 411 to 66. Male victims outnumbered female victims by 315 to 154. Females were significantly under-represented in the murder category and over-represented in the manslaughter category. The median age of all homicide offenders was 27 years old. The median age of all homicide victims was 31 years old. There were 56 Aboriginal homicide offenders, an over-representation of about 5 to 6 times in relation to the number of Aboriginal persons in the general population. All 216 murderers were sentenced to a term of imprisonment, with the median term of 18 years. Of the 261 manslaughter offenders, 30 did not receive full-time custodial sentences. Female homicide offenders generally received less severe sentences than their male counterparts. Of the 44 juvenile homicide offenders, 22 were convicted of murder and 22 were convicted of manslaughter. 19 tables, 20 figures, 428 footnotes, bibliography