General factors (Zimbabwe)

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Defence counsel should obviously be aware of the sort of factors that the court will take into account when determining sentence. These have been set out in a number of cases. For instance, Moyo & Ors HB-114-06 the judge stated that the sentence imposed on an accused should be shaped and determined by the following factors amongst others:

  • the degree of premeditation by the offender;
  • the circumstances surrounding the conviction of the accused;
  • the gravity of the crime committed, in some instances in regard to which the maximum punishment provided by statute is an indication;
  • the attitude of the offender after the commission of the conviction of the crime, as this serves to indicate the degree of criminality involved and throws some light on the character of the participant; the previous criminal record, if any, of the offender;
  • the age, mode of life, climate and personality of the offender;
  • any recommendation presented to the court as a pre-sentencing report from an official designated to assist in assessing the accused; and
  • case authorities in relation to similar offences.

See Zimbabwe Criminal Defense Manual