A Measure of Tolerance: Public Attitudes on Sentencing Enhancements for Old and Juvenile Prior Records
Hestera, R. , Julian V. Roberts , J. V., Frasec, R. S., and Mitchell, K. (2017). “A Measure of Tolerance: Public Attitudes on Sentencing Enhancements for Old and Juvenile Prior Records” in “Corrections Policy, Practice and Research”.
A survey was conducted to explore public reaction to two key inquiries: (1) whether older priors should carry less weight at new sentencing hearings and (2) whether juvenile priors should be counted at adult sentencing hearings. Many sentencing guidelines systems count all prior convictions forever and juvenile priors are almost always included. 1,006 participants were recruited who were required to be U.S. residents, to be at least age 18 years, and have at least an 85% acceptance rate on previous MTurk intelligence tasks (HITs). Results indicate that in contrast to current practice in U.S. guidelines jurisdictions, the public significantly discounts older priors, and favors disregarding at least some juvenile priors.