Judgments about Crime and the Criminal

A Model and a Method for Investigating Parole Decisions
  • John S. Carroll
  • John W. Payne
Part of the Perspectives in Law & Psychology book series (PILP, volume 1)


“An eye for an eye” is the historical precursor to the principle “Let the punishment fit the crime.” However widespread this view of justice, modern law prescribes that the punishment for a crime, or more generally the response to a crime, be based on the nature of the offender as well as on the nature of the crime. The means of achieving this goal has both negative and positive components. Negatively, there are proscriptions against dealing with offenders solely on the basis of their crime. For example, judges are enjoined from using a “fixed and mechanical approach,” such as imposing the same sentence for a given offense (Heinz, Heinz, Senderowitz,&Vance, 1976, pp. 22-23). Positively, the use of discretion is considered an essential element in the administration of justice (e.g., Davis, 1971). Thus, the criminal justice system necessarily works through the application of individual human judgment to unique cases.


Criminal Justice System Information Search Causal Attribution Attribution Theory Verbal Protocol 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • John S. Carroll
    • 1
  • John W. Payne
    • 2
  1. 1.Carnegie-Mellon UniversityPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.University of ChicagoChicagoUSA

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