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The impact of justice and vengance motives on sentencing decisions
chapterposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by Robert HoRobert Ho, Lynne ForsterleeLynne Forsterlee, Robert ForsterleeRobert Forsterlee
The present study was designed to address the question of how justice and vengeance motives may impact differentially on the severity of punishment meted out to offenders. Based on the systematic-heuristic model of decision-making, it was hypothesized that (a) vengeance motives will exert a greater indirect influence on punitive judgement, being mediated by the source characteristic of 'mitigating circumstances', than a direct influence, and (b) justice motives will exert a greater direct rather than an indirect influence on punitive judgements. Results from a path analysis are generally consistent with these predictions. Multi-group path analysis yielded no significant gender differences in the way that justice and vengeance motives influenced the severity of the punitive judgements. The implications of these findings are discussed.