Public opinion polls suggest that sentences are too lenient and judges are out of touch leading to pressure
for costly punitive sentencing regimes. While alternative research methods (eg vignettes) suggest that
surveys exaggerate public punitiveness, they can lack credibility with the public and politicans as well as realworld
validity. This project will use jurors in real cases to inform judgements on sentencing issues. The
outcomes will be greater insights into the contradictions and complexities of public perceptions about
sentencing to inform judicial practice and policy developments, thereby avoiding costly and ineffective policy
responses and improving public confidence in the criminal justice system.