The Size of the Sanction Should Depend on the Weight of the Evidence

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The Size of the Sanction Should Depend on the Weight of the Evidence

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Title: The Size of the Sanction Should Depend on the Weight of the Evidence
Author: Lando, Henrik
Abstract: The paper argues that society should vary the sanction applied to a criminal defendant with the weight of the evidence against him or her. This is optimal when it is costly for society to apply sanctions, since it can yield the same degree of deterrence while requiring fewer resources to be spent on sanctioning. Furthermore, when the unfairness of convicting an innocent defendant increases with the size of the sanction, this provides a further rationale for graduating sanctions with the probability of guilt. Some objections are briefly discussed, mainly that it is inherently unfair to apply different sanctions on people, who have committed the same offense, and that the legal system will lose legitimacy if it allows sanctions to vary in the way suggested.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10398/6820
Date: 2004-08-09

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