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Doing Time and Marking Time 25 Years Later: A Swiss Confirmation of a British Hypothesis

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In 1977, Ken Pease and Margaret Sampson showed that one could modify the length of a sentence by changing the sentencing unit. However, their study contained some methodological bias. Twenty-five years later, the present study tries to verify the same hypothesis. Four criminal cases were presented to four samples of Swiss judges. The first group had to pass their sentences in days, the second in weeks, the third in months, and the last in years. In accordance with Pease and Sampson the Swiss research shows that the longer the time unit used to pass sentences, the higher the risk to impose harsh sentences.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Professor of Criminology and Criminal Law, University of Lausanne, Switzerland 2: Researcher, School of Criminal Justice, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

Publication date: May 1, 2005


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