Aggravating or mitigating? Comparing judges' and jurors' views on four ambiguous sentencing factors

Kate Warner, Caroline Spiranovic, Arie Freiberg, Julia Davis, Lorana Bartels

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


Mental disorder, intellectual disability, intoxication and drug addiction are factors that are often raised in sentencing hearings, but the effect that these four conditions can have on an offender's sentence is rarely studied. This article fills two gaps in our understanding of the relevance of these ambiguous sentencing factors: first, by analysing how judges in the County Court of Victoria responded to these factors in 122 sentencing cases relating to 140 sentenced offenders; and second, by comparing the views of the judges with those of 426 jurors who had tried those cases and who participated in the Victorian Jury Sentencing Study. It concludes that lay opinion on the relevance of these factors does not always align with judicial practice and discusses the implications of these findings.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-66
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Judicial Administration
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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