Tuesday, May 15, 2018
Mirko Bagaric and Peter Isham (Director of the Evidence-Based Sentencing and Criminal Justice Project, Swinburne University Law School and Northwestern University, School of Law, Students) have posted A Rational Approach to the Role of Publicity and Condemnation in the Sentencing of Offenders (Florida State University Law Review, Vol. 46, 2019) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
The punishment imposed on criminal offenders by courts often does not exhaust the hardship they experience. There are a number of collateral forms of punishment that many offenders are subjected to as a result of their offending. Some of these deprivations are institutional, such as being dismissed from employment or being disqualified to vote. Other hardships are less predictable and harder to quantify. Public scorn, often directed towards high profile offenders, such as O.J. Simpson and Anthony Weiner, can be the cause of considerable additional suffering to offenders. It can engender feelings of shame, embarrassment and humiliation. At the same time, the high profile nature of the cases provides courts with an opportunity to demonstrate to the wider community the consequences of violating the law. There is no established jurisprudence regarding the role that public criticism of offenders should have in sentencing decisions. Some courts take the view that it should increase the penalty imposed on high profile offenders in order to deter others from committing similar offences. By contrast, it has also been held that public condemnation should reduce penalties because the offender has already suffered as a result of the public condemnation.