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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 63989 Find in a Library
Title: SENTENCE PERSEVERANCE IN SIMULATED CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS
Journal: MONATSSCHRIFT FUER KRIMINOLOGIE UND STRAFRECHTSREFORM  Volume:62  Issue:3  Dated:(JUNE 1979)  Pages:157-162
Author(s): J HAISCH
Corporate Author: Carl Heymanns Verlag
Germany (Unified)
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 6
Sponsoring Agency: Carl Heymanns Verlag
5 Cologne 1, Germany United
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: German
Country: West Germany (Former)
Annotation: THE SENTENCING PERSEVERANCE OF WEST GERMAN LEGAL EXPERTS AND LAYMEN IN SIMULATED CRIMINAL CASES IS EXPLORED IN THIS STATISTICAL ANALYSIS.
Abstract: THE EXPERIMENT PROCEEDED FROM THE HYPOTHESIS THAT LEGAL EXPERTS COME TO PRELIMINARY JUDGMENTS OF 'GUILTY' MORE FREQUENTLY THAN LAYMEN AND THAT MORE LEGAL EXPERTS THAN LAYMEN PERSEVERE IN THEIR ORIGINAL DECISION WHEN IT COMES TO THE FINAL SENTENCE. THREE SIMULATED CRIMINAL CASES WERE SUBMITTED TO TWO STUDY GROUPS (20 GRADUATE LAW STUDENTS WHO HAD ACCESS TO THE FILES, 20 STUDENTS FROM OTHER FIELDS WHO HAD NO ACCESS TO THE FILES) AND TO TWO CONTROL GROUPS (20 GRADUATE LAW STUDENTS WITHOUT ACCESS TO THE FILES, 20 STUDENTS FROM OTHER FIELDS WITH ACCESS TO THE FILES). THE STUDY SUBJECTS WITH ACCESS TO THE FILES WERE ASKED FOR A PRELIMINARY VERDICT OF 'GUILTY' OR 'NOT GUILTY.' AFTER RECEIVING 10 ADDITIONAL PIECES OF EVIDENCE (5 OF WHICH WERE INCRIMINATING, 5 OF WHICH WERE EXONERATING), THEY WERE ASKED TO RENDER A FINAL VERDICT OR IF IN DOUBT TO DECLINE GIVING A VERDICT. THE REMAINING TWO GROUPS WERE TESTED IN THE SAME MANNER, THE ONLY DIFFERENCE BEING THAT THEIR INITIAL INFORMATION CONSISTED ONLY OF A SHORT STATEMENT INDICATING THE ACCUSATION. THE RESULTS SHOWED THAT THE LEGAL STUDENTS IN FULL POSSESSION OF THE FACTS RENDERED A PRELIMINARY GUILTY VERDICT MORE FREQUENTLY THAN THE LAYMEN WITH ACCESS TO THE FILES; HOWEVER, THE LAW STUDENTS WITHOUT ACCESS TO THE FILES WERE MORE RELUCTANT TO COME TO A PRELIMINARY GUILTY VERDICT THAN THE LAYMEN. IN THE FINAL VERDICT, THE LEGAL STUDENTS WERE MORE READY TO PERSEVERE IN THEIR ORIGINAL VERDICT THAN THE LAYMEN. WITHIN THE LIMITED FRAMEWORK OF THE EXPERIMENT, THE INITIAL HYPOTHESIS CAN BE CONSIDERED AS CONFIRMED. THE ARTICLE CONTAINS STATISTICAL CHARTS AND A SHORT BIBLIOGRAPHY. --IN GERMAN. (SAJ)
Index Term(s): Germany; Presentence studies; Sentencing/Sanctions; Statistical analysis; Students
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=63989

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