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Year 2014-03-03 
Issue 18

Cognitive dispositions influencing judges’ sentencing decisions

Łukasz Markiewicz
Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego

Agnieszka Markiewicz-Żuchowska
Radca Prawny

2014-03-03 (18) Decyzje


The paper presents the literature review on judicial decision making process and focuses particularly on sentencing decisions. The first paragraph has been devoted to legal directives that should inform the judge decisions about the decision weight of particular perpetrator/offence features in sentencing. Whatsoever the system of sentencing is immensely complicated even for judges: the definitions of the above mentioned directives seem to be fundamentally contentious and it remains obscure how much weight is and should be given to each of them. This situation makes different judges give different sentences for the same offence. Furthermore, the judicial practice reveals some turns-out-to-be aggravating factors that should never be taken into consideration in sentencing. Thus, in the same paragraph, the authors present methods which may help to identify the true factors and their weight in sentencing process. In the second paragraph the authors discuss the influence of judges’ cognitive dispositions (deeply rooted in psychophysics as well in heuristic reasoning) on sentencing decisions. The roles of Weber’s law and anchoring heuristic have been highlighted. Finally a discussion follows on the influence of dispositions rooted in Prospect Theory on parties’ propensity toward reaching a compromise even before the trial.

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APA style

Markiewicz, Ł. , & Markiewicz-Żuchowska, A. . (2012). Cognitive dispositions influencing judges’ sentencing decisions. Decyzje, (18), 49 81. Retrieved de https://journal.kozminski.edu.pl/index.php/decyzje/article/view/1 (Original work published 2014-03-03)

MLA style

Markiewicz, Ł. , and A. Markiewicz-Żuchowska. “Cognitive Dispositions Influencing Judges’ Sentencing Decisions”. 2014-03-03. Decyzje, no. 18, 2012, p. 49 81.

Chicago style

Markiewicz, Łukasz , and Agnieszka Markiewicz-Żuchowska. “Cognitive Dispositions Influencing Judges’ Sentencing Decisions”. Decyzje, Decyzje, no. 18 (2012): 49 81. https://journal.kozminski.edu.pl/index.php/decyzje/article/view/1.