What's it Worth? A Cross-Jurisdictional Comparison of Sentencing Severity

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Abstract

Do nations, or states or provinces within nations, differ in the severity of their sentencing policies and practices? This apparently simple question has proved to be surprisingly difficult to answer. Although there is much speculation and a great deal of estimation, cross-jurisdictional comparisons of sentence severity have been few and their findings relatively narrow and inconclusive. To some degree, this is not surprising, as international criminal justice data are rarely completely comparable and there are even significant variations between jurisdictions within federalised nations. The effort of obtaining and standardising the data is rarely thought worthwhile: most countries tend to be juricentric and their criminal justice systems solipsistic.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSentencing and Society
Subtitle of host publicationInternational Perspectives
EditorsNeil Hutton, Cyrus Tata
Place of PublicationAldershot UK
PublisherAshgate Publishing Limited
Chapter11
Pages237-256
Number of pages20
Edition1st
ISBN (Electronic)9781351901109
ISBN (Print)0754621839
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2002

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