Crime And Attractiveness On Sentence Study

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Effect of Crime and Attractiveness on Sentence Length
Some people are simply blessed with good genes and are born attractive. There are times when this tends to be beneficial, and when it comes to prison sentencing after a crime, that fact may remain true. In this experiment we look at exactly this kind of situation. This becomes important for judges and other high up officials to understand that their thoughts might be swayed by attractiveness when making sentencing decisions. Sigall and Ostrove’s (1975) experiment relates most closely to ours. They wanted to know if a crime unrelated to attractiveness, such as burglary, would benefit attractive defendants and if a crime related to attractiveness, such as swindle, would result in a harsher
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The key findings overall confirmed their hypothesis, they demonstrated that in the attractiveness-unrelated crime (burglary) that the unattractive person was more severely punished than the attractive defendant, but when the crime was attractiveness-related (swindle) the attractive defendant was treated more harshly. The study also confirmed that participants viewed the crimes to have equal seriousness so attractiveness was the sole cause for the difference. After this study questions remained about how this laboratory situation would hold up in a courtroom situation with actual consequences for the defendant and a room of jurors to discuss the …show more content…
This question differs from previous research explored because the choice of sentence, either death or life in prison, has not yet been considered in addition to attractiveness. The independent variable being attractiveness of the defendant (attractive or unattractive) along with locus of control of the juror (internal or external) and the dependent variable being the sentence given (either life in prison or the death penalty). They hypothesized that “the mock jurors would select the death penalty for the unattractive defendants more often than they would for the attractive defendants. They further expected that those considered internals in relation to locus of control in their pool of mock jurors would select the death penalty more often than those considered externals in relation to locus of control (Beckham, Spray, & Pietz, 2007, p.288).” They found that the attractiveness of the defendant, race of the defendant, and locus of control of the juror were not statistically significant when jurors determined life or death. However, they did find that age and gender (variables not originally measured in this study) of the juror played a small role in the decision making process. “Younger and older men (those approximately 20-40 years old, and

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