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    Public opinion towards the lay magistracy and the sentencing council guideline: the effects of information on attitudes

    Roberts, J.V. and Hough, Mike and Jackson, J. and Gerber, M.M. (2012) Public opinion towards the lay magistracy and the sentencing council guideline: the effects of information on attitudes. British Journal of Criminology 52 (6), pp. 1072-1091. ISSN 0007-0955.

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    Abstract

    Public opinion surveys have long documented public criticism of ‘lenient’ sentencers. There are two principal perceptions contributing to negative attitudes: a lack of community input and the view that sentencers determine sentence according to their own views. This study embeds an experimental design within a representative survey of respondents in England and Wales (n = 1,004), supplemented by laboratory-based work (n = 230) and focus groups. Results demonstrated that the public is ill-informed about both the magistracy and the sentencing guidelines. In addition, providing information about sentencing changed public attitudes to sentencing and reduced public punitiveness. Respondents were less critical of disposals and less punitive in their own sentence recommendations when they had been given context about the structure of sentencing.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: This is a pre-copy-editing, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in British Journal of Criminology following peer review. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bjc/azs024
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): sentencing, public opinion
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Law
    Research Centre: Criminal Policy Research, Institute for
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2012 09:24
    Last Modified: 05 Dec 2016 16:23
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/5040

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