This is a note to myself on a word I just came across for the first time: totality. I think it means the same as the German Gesamtstrafe: you form a complete criminal sentence which is less than its components. This is an oversimplification, just a note.

From the excellent UK Criminal Law Blog, Four men jailed for ‘fatal crash for cash’ plot:

As there were some pleas and some trials, it is not as simple as working out each sentence in isolation. For example, one may think you add the right sentence for causing death by dangerous driving to the right sentence for conspiracy to commit fraud, and (where appropriate) add on the right sentence (minus a discount for the plea) for perverting the course of justice.

However, there is a principle called totality which requires a sentence to be moderated, taking in to account the overall criminality. For example, where a burglar pleads to 25 burglaries, and each burglary is worth 12 months, the correct sentence is plainly not 25 years.

What judges usually do is take a view of the case as a whole; what sentence properly reflects all the offences?

A Google search (totality Gesamtstrafe) revealed them both on the same page of a book about international criminal law, at marginal no. 636 of Völkerstrafrecht
by Gerhard Werle, Florian Jeßberger.

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