Now at the Army Research Institute.
Effects of Defendant Background and Remorse on Sentencing Judgments
Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 64–68, March 1976
How to Cite
Rumsey, M. C. (1976), Effects of Defendant Background and Remorse on Sentencing Judgments. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 6: 64–68. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.1976.tb01312.x
- Issue published online: 31 JUL 2006
- Article first published online: 31 JUL 2006
Previous evidence that subject sentencing judgments are mediated by considerations of equity led to the hypothesis that defendant remorse and an impoverished defendant background would each reduce subject sentencing judgments. Results from 48 male and 48 female student subjects showed that remorse had the predicted effect (p < .02) but background did not. Regardless of the initial manipulation, sentences shifted significantly toward leniency (p < .02) after subjects had engaged in group discussion. The effect for remorse is consistent with the contention that the equity principle extends to psychological factors, while the leniency shift raises the possibility that jury deliberations tend to favor the defendant.