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NCJ Number: 42086 Find in a Library
Title: EVALUATION OF THE SUBJECTIVE SEVERITY OF PENAL SANCTIONS
Journal: REVUE DROIT PENAL ET DE CRIMINOLOGIE  Volume:57  Issue:4  Dated:(JANUARY 1977)  Pages:281-299
Author(s): A DE BOECK
Date Published: 1977
Page Count: 19
Format: Article
Language: French
Country: Belgium
Annotation: THIS ARTICLE DESCRIBES AND EVALUATES A METHOD FOR RATING THE PUBLIC ATTITUDES REGARDING THE SEVERITY OF VARIOUS PENAL SANCTIONS.
Abstract: IN A 1975 STUDY CARRIED OUT AT THE NATIONAL UNIVERSITY OF ZAIRE, 159 SECOND AND THIRD YEAR LAW STUDENTS WERE ASKED TO RATE THE RELATIVE SEVERITY OF 15 PENAL SANCTIONS RANGING FROM A NEGLIGIBLE MONETARY FINE TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT. THE STUDY SAMPLE WAS THEN ASKED TO COMPARE THE RELATIVE SEVERITY OF 42 TWO-SANCTION COMBINATIONS, I.E., A ONE-MONTH PRISON SENTENCE WAS RATED AS MORE OR LESS SEVERE (INCLUDING THE TIMES MORE OR LESS SEVERE) THAN A 25 'ZAIRE' FINE. RESPONSES WERE CONVERTED INTO LOGARITHMS AND USED TO CONSTRUCT A SEVERITY MATRIX. IN GENERAL, RESPONDENTS EXPERIENCED LITTLE DIFFICULTY WITH THE RATING AND COMPARISON PROCEDURE, EXCEPT IN THE CASES OF LIFE IMPRISONMENT AND CAPITAL PUNISHMENT WHERE QUALITATIVE AS OPPOSED TO QUANTITATIVE CONSIDERATIONS APPEARED TO TAKE PRECEDENCE. THERE WAS ALSO SOME EVIDENCE OF CONFUSION IN INTERPRETING COMPARATIVE SEVERITY IN THE TWO-SANCTION COMPARISONS, PROBABLY ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE WORDING OF THE INSTRUCTIONS. DESPITE THESE TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, HOWEVER, THE RESULTS PRODUCED BY THE PROCEDURE PROVED TO BE MORE THAN SATISFACTORY. FORTY OF THE 42 COMPARISONS WERE SIGNIFICANT AT THE .05 LEVEL. --IN FRENCH...ELW
Index Term(s): Comparative analysis; Democratic Republic of the Congo; Deterrence; Evaluation; Public Attitudes/Opinion; Research design; Research methods; Sentencing/Sanctions; Testing and measurement
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http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=42086

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