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Justice for All; an experimental examination of sentencing disparities among Irish law students

Fowley, Cillian (2021) Justice for All; an experimental examination of sentencing disparities among Irish law students. Undergraduate thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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Sentencing disparities within judicial systems across the globe are present, with ethnic and racial minority status being posited as a significant predictor of harsher punishment within any legal system. The current study sought to examine the relationship between defendant ethnicity within an Irish context and sentence length within a simulated juror setting, while also exploring the effect that juror demographic characteristics could have on sentence length. Additionally, this study wishes to explore potential discriminatory sentencing biases against the Travelling community in a simulated setting. This paper also analyses the effect that gender, age and amount of legal education could have on sentence length. A total of 126 participants took part within the study, acting as simulated jurors in a fictional dangerous driving case. A two-way between groups ANOVA was conducted to explore the results of the study and found that defendant ethnicity was not a significant predictor of increased sentence length, as with age and legal education. Gender was a significant predictor, with female jurors being more lenient than male jurors in the African Origin test condition. Defendant ethnicity is not dismissed as a significant predictor of sentence length however, as outgroup biases were not satisfactorily measured; implications for future research and public policy are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > Psychology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > Discrimination
Divisions: School of Business > BA (Honours) in Psychology
Depositing User: Clara Chan
Date Deposited: 11 Aug 2021 14:59
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2021 15:11

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