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January 7, 2008

Intuitions, institutions and sentencing reform

I have a gut feeling that this new article from by Paul Robinson and John Darley, entitled "Intuitions of Justice: Implications for Criminal Law and Justice Policy," is a very important read for anyone seriously interested in sentencing reform.  Here is the start of the abstract:

Recent social science research suggests that many if not most judgments about criminal liability and punishment for serious wrongdoing are intuitional rather than reasoned. Further, such intuitions of justice are nuanced and widely shared, even though they concern matters that seem quite complex and subjective.  While people may debate the source of these intuitions, it seems clear that, whatever their source, it must be one that is insulated from the influence of much of human experience because, if it were not, one would see differences in intuitions reflecting the vast differences in human existence across demographics and societies.  This Article explores the serious implications of this reality for criminal law and criminal policy.

When discussing the challenges of transforming criminal justice institutions, this article echoes some of the themes I developed in this recent article entitled "Rita, Reasoned Sentencing, and Resistance to Change."

January 7, 2008 at 06:31 AM | Permalink


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