Conceptions and representations of the sentencing decision process

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This article attempts to reflect on the success of attempts by academic
research to understand and explain the sentencing decision process. It identifies
conventional themes in the conception and representation of that
decision process and argues that there are some important difficulties
associated with them and consequently implications for both the findings of
sentencing research and for approaches to sentencing reform. The article
suggests a possible alternative approach to conceptualizing and representing
the sentencing decision process and also raises questions about the nature
of the discretionary (legal) decision process more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)395-420
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Law and Society
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1997


  • sentencing policy
  • sentencing
  • criminal justice
  • judgement
  • judges
  • judging
  • discretion
  • penal
  • punish
  • Penology
  • judicial decision making


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