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Sentencing Recommendations, Anchoring Effect and Fairness in Criminal Justice—An Empirical Study Based on a Sample of 520 Sentences in K City

Sentencing Recommendations, Anchoring Effect and Fairness in Criminal Justice—An Empirical Study... The anchoring effect is a powerful and widespread cognitive phenomenon in the decision-making field. Our quantitative analysis of a sample of 520 sentences indicates that the sentencing recommendation of the public procuratorate has a marked influence upon the court's sentencing judgment. That is, whether we are investigating the freedom penalty, the fine penalty or the term of probation imposed by the judge, we find that the anchoring effect does exist. In addition, a change in the court conviction or in the trial sentencing circumstances and the availability of a defense lawyer may weaken the anchoring effect of the procuratorate's sentencing recommendations. As a form of cognitive bias, the presence of the anchoring effect in the area of sentencing further highlights the necessity of applying analyses based on legal realism to the field of criminal justice in China; and at the institutional level, it demands that judges adopt corresponding arrangements to ensure the impartial exercise of discretion. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Social Sciences in China Taylor & Francis

Sentencing Recommendations, Anchoring Effect and Fairness in Criminal Justice—An Empirical Study Based on a Sample of 520 Sentences in K City

Social Sciences in China , Volume 39 (3): 22 – Jul 3, 2018

Sentencing Recommendations, Anchoring Effect and Fairness in Criminal Justice—An Empirical Study Based on a Sample of 520 Sentences in K City

Social Sciences in China , Volume 39 (3): 22 – Jul 3, 2018

Abstract

The anchoring effect is a powerful and widespread cognitive phenomenon in the decision-making field. Our quantitative analysis of a sample of 520 sentences indicates that the sentencing recommendation of the public procuratorate has a marked influence upon the court's sentencing judgment. That is, whether we are investigating the freedom penalty, the fine penalty or the term of probation imposed by the judge, we find that the anchoring effect does exist. In addition, a change in the court conviction or in the trial sentencing circumstances and the availability of a defense lawyer may weaken the anchoring effect of the procuratorate's sentencing recommendations. As a form of cognitive bias, the presence of the anchoring effect in the area of sentencing further highlights the necessity of applying analyses based on legal realism to the field of criminal justice in China; and at the institutional level, it demands that judges adopt corresponding arrangements to ensure the impartial exercise of discretion.

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References (49)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
© 2018 Social Sciences in China Press
ISSN
1940-5952
eISSN
0252-9203
DOI
10.1080/02529203.2018.1483109
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The anchoring effect is a powerful and widespread cognitive phenomenon in the decision-making field. Our quantitative analysis of a sample of 520 sentences indicates that the sentencing recommendation of the public procuratorate has a marked influence upon the court's sentencing judgment. That is, whether we are investigating the freedom penalty, the fine penalty or the term of probation imposed by the judge, we find that the anchoring effect does exist. In addition, a change in the court conviction or in the trial sentencing circumstances and the availability of a defense lawyer may weaken the anchoring effect of the procuratorate's sentencing recommendations. As a form of cognitive bias, the presence of the anchoring effect in the area of sentencing further highlights the necessity of applying analyses based on legal realism to the field of criminal justice in China; and at the institutional level, it demands that judges adopt corresponding arrangements to ensure the impartial exercise of discretion.

Journal

Social Sciences in ChinaTaylor & Francis

Published: Jul 3, 2018

Keywords: sentencing recommendations; anchoring effect; discretion; judicial fairness; 量刑建议; 锚定效应; 自由裁量; 司法公正

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