Friday, August 11, 2017
Mirko Bagaric and Gabrielle Wolf (Director of the Evidence-Based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project, Swinburne University Law School and Deakin Law School) have posted Sentencing by Computer: Enhancing Sentencing Transparency and Predictability, and (Possibly) Bridging the Gap between Sentencing Knowledge and Practice (25(4) George Mason Law Review, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Computer technology is rapidly infiltrating and changing many aspects of the law. Judicial decision-making has, however, remained largely impervious to technological developments. Sentencing is one of the most controversial, complex and dynamic legal areas. Sentencing law is also fundamentally broken and has resulted in a mass incarceration crisis, which is the most serious sociolegal problem currently afflicting the United States. Despite this, it is also ostensibly one of the areas of law that is most amenable to automated decisionmaking. This is because the relevant variables that inform sentencing decisions are normally clear, especially in circumstances where an offense attracts a presumptive or fixed penalty. In this Article, we examine the desirability of computers, rather than judges, making sentencing decisions.