Limiting Court Behavior: A Case for High Minimum Sentences and Low Maximum Ones
AbstractWe model a simple justice system in which a court is mandated by society to assess the guilt and the punishment of an accused. The court takes prison facilities as given and neglects its impact on the cost to society of implementing the sentence. Clearly, the court, in this world, will condemn more often than society and assign higher penalties. Under these circumstances, society at large would necessarily benefit from having maximum sentences. We show, however, as a series of perverse results, that (1) maximum penalties need to be lower than the highest socially desirable penalty; (2) society would benefit from imposing high minimum sentences even though it is precisely the harshness of courts, which it wants to curb.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CREFE, Université du Québec à Montréal in its series Cahiers de recherche CREFE / CREFE Working Papers with number 101.
Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming (latest version), International Review of Law and Economics
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Maximum and minimum penalties; sentencing guidelines; social optimum;
Other versions of this item:
- Pallage, Stephane & Demougin, Dominique, 2003. "Limiting court behavior: a case for high minimum sentences and low maximum ones," International Review of Law and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 309-321, September.
- K41 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - Litigation Process
- K14 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - Criminal Law
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2000-01-17 (All new papers)
- NEP-CDM-2000-01-17 (Collective Decision-Making)
- NEP-LAW-2000-01-17 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-MIC-2000-01-17 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Stéphane Pallage).
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