This module is a resource for lecturers

Research and independent study questions

a) Is there a gender bias in sentencing? Should a distinction be drawn between offenders solely on the basis of gender? If yes, when is it justified? Conversely, when are stereotypes harmful?

b) Watch the video " Inside The First Court Designed To Keep Opioid Addicts Alive (HBO)" and discuss the shift in sentencing for drug-related crimes. Is there a need for special drug courts in your country? Study the legislation of your country or region and compare it to other national legislations (and international standards) related to how user-dealers of drug-related crimes are punished. Are user-dealers given reduced sentences or alternatives to imprisonment, such as drug dependence treatment, community services, probation or suspended sentence, in the legislations that you reviewed? If not, why do some jurisdictions retain incarceration as the dominant sentencing approach in drug-related offences?

c) Conduct independent research on the use of confiscated assets in your country. In what offences does confiscation take place? What is the due process for confiscation? What kind of property or assets are confiscated? How are confiscated assets used?

d) Massive amounts of stolen wealth have been accumulated in some offshore financial centres. By taking advantage of differences in legal systems, the high costs in coordinating investigations, lack of international cooperation, and bank secrecy in some recipient countries, offenders have often been able to preserve illicit proceeds overseas. Discuss the legal status of offshore financial centres and identify the key challenges and opportunities for seizing and returning illicit assets from these jurisdictions.

e) Read the following case summary and identify a value-based confiscation. Discuss the need to have such a confiscation and how it is calculated.

Jose Angel Marichalar, 36, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering and possession with intent to distribute more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana while Jesus Gonzales, 46, previously pleaded guilty to possession with intent to distribute more than 1000 kilograms of marijuana. Marichalar and Gonzales have also forfeited their interests in several pieces of real estate and numerous personal items, including cars, tractors, trailers, guns and jewellery, valued at more than $1.5 million. Marichalar was also ordered to pay a $50,000, while Gonzales was ordered to pay a $25,000 fine.

f) How should transgender (LGBT) inmates be treated while incarcerated? Should they be placed in a facility of their birth gender or the gender they identify themselves with? What other kinds of special treatment do transgender inmates need?