The article focuses on the plea in mitigation, one of the most common occurrences in the criminal justice system. Methods of approaching the plea in mitigation typically emphasize the need for the advocate to address the circumstances of the offence and offender. Typically, such matters are put forward as items on a list which the advocate must ensure are addressed during the plea in mitigation. Whilst it is important for those matters to be covered in providing the factual background, or context, of the offender and the offence, it is contended that in a plea in mitigation it is not sufficient nor adequate to simply present such matters to a judicial officer at sentencing and to allow those matters then to be assembled and interpreted by the sentencing judge.
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