Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tell the Jury the Sentence?

Over at the BlueOregon, Rep. Chip Shields, a state rep. from Oregon raises the issue of whether a jury should be given information about the possible sentence facing the accused. He provides some pretty telling non-white collar examples of extraordinary sentences. Professor Doug Berman here, looks at these questions asking "is justice best served by keeping that information from them and having juries only decide guilt or innocence?"

The question is interesting in the white collar sphere.  What would have been the reaction of the jury if they knew that Jeffrey Skilling was going to get a sentence of 24 years, and how would the juries have reacted to the lengthy sentences given to Bernie Ebbers and the Rigases.  Would the jury have convicted if they knew the initial sentence, eventually modified, that the court imposed on Jamie Olis?

(esp) (blogging from SEALS '08 in Palm Beach, Florida)

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